Negin Banaeianjahromi


Lack of Communication and Collaboration in Enterprise Architecture Development

Enterprise architecture (EA) is widely employed to reduce complexity and to improve business–information technology (IT) alignment. Despite the efforts by practitioners and academics in proposing approaches to smoothen EA development, it is not easy to find a fully successful EA. Because EA development is a complex endeavour, it is important to understand the obstacles that practitioners face during EA development. With the grounded theory, we studied how obstacles during EA development emerged from practitioners’ point of view in 15 large enterprises. The study identifies lack of communication and collaboration as the core obstacle that can explain many other obstacles. Communication and collaboration were also harmed by other perceived EA development obstacles, including lack of knowledge and support inside organization and issues imposed by external parties, hesitation in training personnel, setting too ambitious goals, constant change of management, (lack of) clarity in EA development process, lack of budget, forcing personnel to adopt EA, lack of motivation, organizational culture, and organizational structure deficiencies. The lack of communication and collaboration caused several undesired effects to organizations, such as being unable to set common goals and achieve a shared understanding, personnel’s distrust, endangered EA governance, lack of innovation capability, lost competitive edge, and ineffective EA outputs. The study highlights that organisations should improve their communication and collaboration before embarking on EA to encounter fewer obstacles. We provide four recommendations for practitioners to improve communication and collaboration in EA development.

On the Role of Enterprise Architecture in Enterprise Integration

In the current business era, it is crucial for an organization to understand the rapidly changing environment of today. To swiftly respond to the changing environment, an organization must provide enterprise integration (EI) not only internally, but also externally, with its customers and suppliers. Many approaches and technologies have been proposed to facilitate EI – however, due to its complexity, integration has remained a continuous challenge in organizations. One of the major integration obstacles is maintaining architectural descriptions of the organization. Architectural descriptions, or Enterprise Architecture (EA), provides a comprehensive view of all the organizational entities and their relationships to achieve an organization’s strategic goals. Many studies have referred to EA as a solution to facilitate EI in organizations. However, developing EA is not easy to achieve. This PhD dissertation aims to facilitate integration projects by approaching EA obstacles from a social and organizational perspective. The main research question is What is the role of EA and its obstacles in EI? A qualitative and interpretive research approach is applied in this dissertation. The data was collected through interviews with practitioners from 17 large organizations and analyzed using the Grounded Theory method. The study first investigates the EI obstacles and identifies EA maintenance as a major obstacle in EI projects. After identifying the EA obstacles, the dissertation further investigates them to understand the issues in EA development that prevent EA from being efficient. By investigating the obstacles in EA development, this research shows that if not addressed properly beforehand, the obstacles follow EA through the development process. Most of the identified obstacles are social and organizational issues. The results indicate a ‘lack of communication and collaboration’ as the root obstacle in EA development that can address most of the other obstacles. Revisiting the data from a communication and collaboration point of view, the results reveal ‘organizational culture’ and ‘clarity in EA development process’ as additional causes of the lack of communication and collaboration in EA development. Furthermore, ‘personnel’s distrust’ and ‘organization loses its competitive edge’ are identified as additional effects of the lack of communication and collaboration in EA development. Finally, this study provides some recommendations to facilitate EA development for researchers and practitioners.