This book provides a cursory treatment of a deep subject. At barely 250 pages of main body text--and they are small pages at that, set in a generous type--there is no room to go into detail on much of anything. You will learn, perhaps, what a dataflow diagram or an IDEF0 frame is, but you will certainly not learn how to create or manipulate them, or much about how to use them, or their relative strengths and weaknesses, beyond the casual sentence or two about any given model in this book. And, look, I love diagrams, but it seems like every third illustration is this book is a reprint or an absolutely trivial variation on the author's "EA Cube" overview diagram. You can see it on the front cover--it's not exactly as complicated as the human nervous system. Once or twice would have done it for me. Shallow? I slosh through deeper puddles on a rainy day.
But the shining feature of this book is the "case study" of a company adopting the particular flavor of Enterprise Architecture that Scott Bernard is trying to sell, something called EA3. He follows this ficticious company through the entire course of the book, costing a substantial fraction of the already meager pagecount. What would you expect such a case study to entail, dear reader? Maybe some process diagrams, data entity schemas, architecture documents...you know, an ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE for the example company? Sadly, the joke is on us. None of this is forthcoming. The "case study" consists almost entirely of descriptions of meetings where everybody talks about the wonderful things they're going to do with this new enterprise architecture, followed by more meetings where everybody congatulates each other on the wonderful things they've just done thanks to enterprise architecture. Like the rest of the book, there is just no "there" there. Actual models? No room! Sample documents? No time! Any business school or MIS student who tried to hand in this pollyanna sales pitch as a "case study" would only get an F because the grade scale doesn't go to "G."
Perhaps the only value in this book is that, if read critically, it will teach you a great deal about why "Enterprise Architecture" has such a poor reputation in certain sectors of industry today. I really think that a lot of EA is about self-aggrandizement on the part of IT professionals, who think the entire business should revolve around their pretty diagrams and three-ring binders. We in the IT community need to get our minds right: we are here to support and enable the business, not impede it or, worse, subordinate it to its tools. If something like Enterprise Architecture is good for business, then we need to find ways to do it that don't involve saying to the people we are supposed to be helping: "Wait! Stop what you're doing and redefine everything you do according to MY methodology!" Read the first five pages of the "case study" in this book to see the new CIO do EXACTLY THAT. He should have been laughed out of the boardroom.