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Enterprise Architecture


What is meant by enterprise architecture?


Enterprise architecture definition

Enterprise architecture is a discipline in the world of business. It's the set of strategies and approaches a business uses to decide how to handle various circumstances, make effective changes, and adjust policies to reflect long-term goals. It can also be used to determine the trajectory of various projects. 

Generally, there is a team of leaders who lead the enterprise architecture practice at a business. 

What is an example of enterprise architecture?

A common example of enterprise architecture is the Business Development (BD) Model. This model is used to label a business's framework and the key factors that play into that framework. 

The Business Development Model considers factors like opportunities, influencers, channels, partners, clients, governance, policies, and more, giving a thorough overview of how to approach various decisions and situations. Business leaders and managers simply plug-in the various points for the specific situation. 

What are the six basic elements of enterprise architecture?

Generally speaking, there are six basic elements that comprise enterprise architecture. These are:

  1. Architecture management: This is the team that oversees your enterprise architecture practice or planning.

  2. Architecture framework: This is the model that defines how your enterprise architecture is to be shaped. 

  3. Implementation methodology: This includes the steps required for your particular framework. 

  4. Documentation artefacts: These documents host your plans, progress, and decisions. 

  5. Architecture repository: This includes all of the tools, resources, and more that are used to build your enterprise architecture.

  6. Associated best practices: This is the set of standardized practices your business follows when working through enterprise architecture. 

Enterprise architecture framework and tools


An enterprise architecture framework or roadmap is a predefined model that your business can follow when working through enterprise architecture. The goal is to ensure that no key points are missed and that a general roadmap is followed, giving your team direction. 


Enterprise architecture tools include any software, frameworks, practices, and resources your team relies on when coming up with your enterprise architecture. These go into your architecture repository for your team to use whenever the time arises. 

Enterprise architecture roadmap examples and templates

To help you get started building your own roadmaps, we've curated some common enterprise architecture roadmap examples and templates for you to follow. By using these, you can give structure to the roadmaps you create as well as speed up the creation process.


Roadmapping From A to Z

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airfocus eBook Roadmapping From A to Z

Three Months enterprise architecture roadmap example

The first enterprise architecture roadmap example we're going to cover is the Three Months roadmap. This roadmap covers just three months and is used to align your various departments and strategies on a common vision. Create a roadmap for each of the three months, defining what each department should be doing during each month so that by the end of the third month, the departments are more aligned. 

Five Yearly IT enterprise architecture roadmap template

The Five Yearly IT enterprise architecture roadmap template is meant to help your business establish how its technical facets are going to improve and evolve over the next five years. Here, you'll create a roadmap for each year, giving your IT team goals to hit by the end of each year. 

Quarterly Roadmap for enterprise architecture

The last kind of enterprise architecture roadmap example we'll look at is the Quarterly Roadmap. This is a year-long roadmap that covers the goals that your business is going to be hitting during each quarter. Every three months should contain a set of goals and steps to accomplish them. 

Why you shouldn't use PPT for your enterprise architecture roadmap

When building a roadmap, it may be tempting to create your enterprise architecture roadmap template in PPT, or PowerPoint. However, this is often the wrong move for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few of the reasons why not to use PPT for roadmapping — and to stick to dedicated software solutions. 

Your roadmaps need to be flexible and changing

The first reason that you'll probably want to avoid PPT is that the enterprise roadmaps you create need to be flexible and changing. They'll evolve and adapt over time, shifting with unanticipated developments, changes to your strategy, and adapting as you meet your goals. 

Because PPT is designed to present things in a mostly fixed way, it's less than ideal when it comes to editing. You'll likely find that tweaking your enterprise architecture roadmap template in PowerPoint is frustrating, messy, and inconsistent. 

Obviously, this isn't the way that you're going to want to work when modifying your roadmap template. You want to be fast, agile, and flexible, just like your roadmap should be. For this reason, we recommend sticking with a platform that is built for roadmapping or brainstorming. 

Collaborative features are a must when working on a roadmap

You're also going to find that collaborative features are essential to roadmapping. You'll want to work with others to make sure everyone is on the same page, take in others' input, and make changes to documents at the same time, in real-time. 

Some PowerPoint tools make this a bit workable, but it's far from a tool that was designed to be collaborative. Just like editing your roadmap, PPT makes collaboration feel stiff, disorganized, and frustrating. 

Again, you'll be better off sticking with an enterprise architecture roadmap template tool that was built for collaboration. In a platform like this, you'll find that collaborative features aren't treated like a bonus. They're taken seriously, giving you and your collaborators serious power when creating and managing your roadmap.


Roadmapping From A to Z

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airfocus eBook Roadmapping From A to Z

General FAQ

What is enterprise architecture?
Enterprise architecture is the process of working through factors, stakeholders, and goals when making a decision for the direction of a company. This allows businesses to quickly adapt to disruptive situations without hampering their long-term goals.
Types of enterprise architecture
Enterprise architecture types, also known as frameworks, are sets of models and practices that your business can follow when creating your enterprise architecture. They're useful in keeping your team on track and meeting specific goals in various situations.
airfocus eBook Roadmapping From A to Z
Roadmapping From A to Z
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