Reducing the pace of creating new applications and services is undoubtedly an important factor in the transformation of today's organizations.

However, it also means increasing the pace of the organization´s complexity, which in turn will increase the difficulty to obtain the information needed for designing and planning next transformation initiatives. Such dependencies represent a positive, feedback loop that must be tackled.

With many ongoing and planned transformation initiatives, the capacity to consolidate changes and impacts of each transformation initiative into an enterprise-wide vision is a fundamental asset for designing and planning future transformation initiatives.

Enterprise Cartography is a low effort approach to build, maintain and visualize the architecture and dependencies of organization processes, information and IT, necessary for designing and planning the next transformation initiatives.

Organizational change is driven by improvements in the alignment of organization processes, information and systems. This can be either to offer processes with better information or improved automation from IT systems, or simply to streamlining  IT systems and operations.

Every day, organizations are becoming more digital, but also more complex. It becomes harder to anticipate the processes, information and systems emerging from transformation initiatives. This rises several challenges in knowledge management, such as:

  • Project´s teams spend significant effort searching and collecting information about organization processes, information and systems, due to outdated and disperse information;
  • Planning ahead becomes a true challenge given the difficulty in knowing the impacts of the decisions taken across the project portfolio. This leads to delays and additional costs due to wrong assumptions and misinformation;

In our opinion, the classic enterprise architecture methods and tools fail to deliver an effort viable solution. A new paradigm of architecture is required, where the architectural views are:

  • Generated on-the-fly: handmade architecture views will become obsolete, given the effort it takes to update them;
  • A “movie”: which allows going back and forward in time, showing past, current and planned contents. It cannot be a picture given the effort required to manage and consolidate the necessary number of versions;
  • Impersonal: sustaining a simpler and standard communication between the multiple stakeholders;
  • Strongly tied to Management. Views can be generated solely with the information required to know the effort, time and risk of transformation initiatives.

The above are just the opposite of what common Enterprise Architecture tools and approaches provide. Nevertheless, each of them represents a significant reduction in the effort required to keep Enterprise Architecture up-to-date.

We presented some features of a low effort Enterprise Architecture, that we call Enterprise Cartography. It provides organizations with the required information for designing and planning their transformation initiatives. It is feed by the designs and plans of transformation initiatives.

Since it is feed by plans of transformation initiatives, the faster the organization changes, the more accurate it becomes. Furthermore, the more accurate the estimation of effort, time and risk of transformation initiatives is, the richer and complete the Enterprise Architecture will be.

It is no longer a positive feedback in a unbounded complexity process but instead a rather stable and controlled process.