Part 4: The OIO EA methods activities and steps

Read more about the individual steps and activities in the OIO EA method.

Each blue-violet box is denoted an activity. Each box holds several steps, and each step can lead to various deliverables, also denoted OIO EA products. A survey of possible OIO EA activities and steps is given below.

A. OIO EA – The Strategy Activity

The goal of the strategy activity is to ensure that the enterprise architecture is anchored in the needs of the business.

Figure 4: OIO EA Method – Strategy

The grey steps are start-up activities, carried out to establish the foundation for the OIO EA efforts.

  • A1 reveals which challenges – problems and opportunities – OIO EA should address.
  • A2 address up-front in an EA project how architecture can be realized in the organization present, and starts the mobilization of an EA governance structure.
  • A3 adjusts the general OIO EA method to the needs of the organisation in an actual enterprise architecture project. This is, defining which steps to omit, and making very explicit which are the tasks and deliverables of the steps to be conducted.
  • A4 then defines the project, with input from A1-A3.  The deliverable from this step will become a project handbook for the participants of the project.

In summary, step A1-A4 defines the frames for an OIO EA project. The following steps defines the strategic directions for the continuation:

  • A5 synthesizes the organisations business direction, in terms of vision, goals and strategies, and from that derives the critical success factors. Also a stakeholder analysis, and an analysis of the strong and weak sides, opportunities and threats (SWOT), could be part of this step.
  • A6 defines the it-principles for the organisation; principles that guides the later choice of technology.


B. OIO EA – The Business Activity

The purpose of the business activity is to have the business – with focus on the future business – defined in operational terms. This is a step towards ensuring that it-usage is focused on supporting the business operation.

Figure 5: OIO EA Method – Business

The individual steps can be conducted in varying order, also in parallel. They are:

  • B1 identifies the concepts – ”business objects” – that are used by the business side of the organisation. This could be ”citizen”, ”request”, ”area”, ”building”, etc.
  • B2 describes the organisational units and/or location types that need a strategic it support in order to better conduct their work and thereby realising the goals of the business.
  • B3 describes the business-oriented services that the organisation offers to its stakeholders – citizens, companies, employees, etc.
  • B4 describes the business processes following in the organisation. There will be main processes, which results in the delivery of the organisations business services, and support processes to assist in this.
  • B5 describes Use cases – this is, which tasks are solved by which actors.  Focus is on what is being done, not how.
  • B6 details B5 by describing more operational how the individual tasks are being solved.


C. OIO EA – The Technical Activity

The purpose of the Technical Activity is to document the current technical architectures, and to define the future technical architecture (3-5 years ahead). As well the current as the future architecture will be defined within four select areas:

Figure 6: OIO EA Method – Technical

The individual steps are:

  • C1 documents the current, and designs the future information architecture. Both comprise logical data models, physical database structures and data distribution schemes.
  • C2 documents the current, and designs the future applications architecture. Focus is on describing the application and integration landscape, including the functionality of the individual applications, and on which integrations exist and need to be made. C2 also describes how the applications are used, and which information they generate and use – but not how the applications should be constructed or provided.
  • C3 complements C2, in the manner that is takes a look inside the individual applications, with the objective to make them component-based, and to identify services that with benefit can be made common for several applications, and implemented as web services.
  • C4 documents the current, and designs the future technology architecture, which is the underlying platform for applications and data. This comprises the infrastructure itself (like clients, servers and network) as well as management of this (systems management, security).


D. OIO EA – The Gap Analysis Activity

The purpose of the gap analysis activity is to ensure that the difference between the current and the future architecture is being analysed, so that a solid foundation for a migration plan is being provided.

Figure 7: OIO EA Method – Gap Analysis

The individual steps are:

  • D1 surveys the restrictions that should be factored in, in a migration plan.
  • D2 uncovers opportunities (project suggestions) that will benefit the organisation, business-wise, technology-wise, or organisationally.
  • D3 analyses the differences between the current and the future architecture, as a foundation for a migration plan.


E. OIO EA – The Changes Activity

The purpose of the change activity is to ensure that the future enterprise architecture is realised.

Figure 8: OIO EA Method – Changes


The individual steps are:

  • E1 provides general directions on how a migration to the desired future it landscape can be realised.
  • E2 develops the E1 general directions into a more specific plan that identifies and to some extent describes major it projects for the coming 3-5 years.
  • E3 identifies the consequences that the proposed migration projects might have, not least how they might affect employees and users, and suggests how to mitigate negative effects.


Activity X: Technical and Business Trends

The X-activity comprises steps concerned with trends – that is, opportunities that the organisation might (but do not necessarily need to) factor in.

Figure 9: OIO EA Method – Technical and Business Trends

The individual steps are:

  • X1 gives input in the form of a survey of which business trends to consider factored into the neterprise architecture.
  • X1 giver input in the form of a survey of which technical trends to consider factored into the anterprise architecture.


Activity Y: Principles and Steering

The Y-activity comprises steps addressing all the steering mechanisms and boundaries there are, regarding legal and contractual matters, and concerning the steering of budget/resources and the operations.

Figure 10: OIO EA Method – Principles and Steering

The individual steps are:

  • Y1 comprises those tasks that maintain the operation of it systems. The documentation from this step comprises operation manuals, procedures on how to handle requests from it users, and so on.
  • Y2 is concerned with the steering of resources and budgets that, among others, shall ensure that the enterprise architecture is being implemented.
  • Y3 is central in the EA context, since it establishes structures and processes that will ensure that the enterprise architecture is kept alive, updated, communicated, and applied.
  • Y4 surveys the legal restrictions that must be factored into the enterprise architecture.
  • Y5 surveys the contractual obligations that can affect the plans for realising the enterprise architecture.

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