Improve Cooperation and Alignment by Involving the Enterprise in the Architectural Development

, , ,

Keywords: , , ,

Morten Gryning, Mikkel Mertz, Ambreen Khan, Jan Staack


In its current form, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is often confined to the IT domain. This confinement contradicts most theoretical definitions of the concept which emphasize that EA should span the entire enterprise to create coherency and alignment. To unleash EA from the IT domain, we suggest the utilization of Coherency Management (CM) to involve and embed employees in the architectural development. Our interpretation and version of CM is the result of a single case study of the global brewery Carlsberg, based on the issues experienced by Carlsberg when utilizing initiatives to design and document the enterprise. Qualitative interviews with managers from business units and strategic initiatives constituted the empirical data in our study. The case study‟s primary findings were that each strategic initiative delivered satisfactory results in itself, yet experienced problems regarding the cooperation with the other initiatives. The issues of designing the enterprise architecture were found to be a question of coordination and cooperation between the enterprise designers, rather than the performance and scope of each individual designer. Additionally, a lack of trust and awareness made it more difficult for the employees to benefit from the work of the strategic initiatives. Based on these findings, we assess that CM should be a means to leverage the information from the different initiatives and business units to form a holistic overview of the enterprise, and that CM should aim to improve and coordinate the design of the EA. To practice CM in an organization, we present the ExCoM framework consisting of three layers: Services, Continuous Activities, and Information Retrieval.

Journal of Enterprise Architecture

Leave a Comment