recrEAtion: Realizing the Extraordinary Contribution of Your Enterprise Architects (Take It With You) Paperback – 7 Oct 2010
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Potts weaves another story of drama and intrigue which is a must read for any CEO or Enterprise Architect looking to design a business to achieve sustainable performance. As Enterprise Architects continue to discover their relevance and value-add, Potts lives up to his reputation by interrupting with a dose of common sense and challenging insights which will make business leaders pause and reflect.
Senior Vice President and CIO, LeasePlan Corporation
Just as the CIO has gained new responsibilities for more closely extracting business value from IT investments, the Enterprise Architect has acquired new and more strategic responsibilities for designing architectures which must also add value to the business. Chris Potts has once again laid out a needed roadmap for another critical IT function as it transitions from purely infrastructure design to a strategic executive partnership, advising the top management team on the shape and evolution of the architecture for the enterprise. It is his advice that comes none too soon as budgets are constantly decreasing, and we face increasing pressure from the creative destructive power of technological evolution. And Chris does it in his inimical story-telling approach that makes the comprehension of the concepts so accessible and fun. You feel like you are reading a thriller soon to be made into a movie. The book should be required reading for the CEO and all members of the executive team. Bravo, Chris!
Dr. Andres Fortino
Associate Provost for Corporate Graduate Programs
Industry Professor of Technology Management
Polytechnic Institute of New York University
RecrEAtion, Potts' much-anticipated follow-up to fruITion, is second to none. Through a brilliant story as told by Simon the enterprise architect, Potts conveys the important message that an enterprise needs an enterprising and architecting culture to be successful as a coherent business. Architects in all sectors should read this book.
Dr. John Gotze
Chief Editor, Journal of Enterprise Architecture, Partner, EA Fellows, and Founder, International Enterprise Architecture Institute
About the Author
Chris is a corporate strategist, a mentor to CIOs and Enterprise Architects, an award-winning speaker and writer. He specializes in strategies for investing in change and exploiting Information Technology, and is the author of fruITion and now the sequel recrEAtion. He delivers seminars and keynote speeches around the world, on how companies use Enterprise Architecture to drive business innovation and performance.
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He writes with a particular perspective, entirely logical, that enterprise architecture is the architecture of enterprises. Enterprise Architecture, we are persuaded, is not the parts and the structure of the enterprise's applications and technology infrastructure, which is how most CIOs and CTOs and people in the IT industry misconceive the term.
Instead, following some well trodden thinking in decades-old systems design methods, like Information Engineering, where, done well, the choice of information system (application) boundaries is a direct reflection of the business structure, as expressed by its core structural entities, he says that while it is a business accountability to decide what the structural components and measures of the business are, and not a technical one, enterprise architects, because they have the analytical skills, must act in the role of consultants who help business executives approve their recommendations and fund the investments needed to realise them. This is not a new idea, but neither is it obvious, and so it is one that is worth re-stating in a new way.
Chris's approach is to tell the story, with a cast of slightly contrived actors who have somewhat unearthly powers. They understand each other perfectly; they have phenomenal clarity of thought; they always express themselves utterly compellingly in nice short sentences; and they conjure up insightful models on the hoof. Obviously this is not the real world! But it is an entertaining drama played out for our benefit, which on the whole, I found, works very well indeed.
Our EA hero, Simon, has moved jobs to a large global company based out of New York, where the custom is for all new VPs to meet the CEO. When Simon tells the CEO he is an "Enterprise Architect" and the CEO says "so am I", Simon rolls his eyes. Yet another business guy who thinks he gets IT. But what happens is that Simon goes on a journey from roadmapping IT technologies to helping the whole business structure the way it thinks about it's brand, products and services - and how customers interact with those.
OK, it's not a gripping novel, but if you are interested at all in Enterprise Architecture or IT in business, you will be turning the pages and finding it difficult to put down (when was the last business book you read like that?!). The story-telling isn't the strongest part of the book, but the concepts it introduces through the art of the story are truly compelling and challenge the way EA programmes think they deliver value.
So, we have a business book that delivers truly thought provoking content that challenges how Enterprise Architecture can really architect an enterprise in a presentation style that makes it easy to read and digest. A truly powerful combination...
It takes the same narrative style as his first book fruITion, which makes it an easy read.
The book takes us on the journey of Simon, an Enterprise Architect starting a new job with a multinational.
The journey takes us through the transformation of Simon from a stereotypical IT-based approach to EA, into viewing Enterprise Architecture (EA) as a strategic business enabler. Through this journey, Chris Potts takes us along the development of his "EEAA - Establish-Explore-Activate-Apply" approach to EA. Key points are summarised at the end of every chapter (and provide a good overview of the book).
The most significant points for me were:
- The use of key measures (ratios) as performance indicators for the business.
- It is important to identify the hub of an enterprise's architecture.
- The parallels between building architecture and enterprise architecture, particularly that architecture is about structure and spaces.
- The importance of looking at architecture from the outside - from the customer's point of view.
One minor criticism I had about FruITion was that there was no mention of the role of innovation. This is addressed in RecrEAtion, with innovation seen as one of the most important considerations in investing in change.
Finally, RecrEAtion is a book for CEOs as much as it is for Enterprise Architects - as Chris Potts points out, it is after all CEOs who should be defining the architecture of their businesses.
It is very readable and full of insights on the role of Enterprise Architecture as a business discipline.
Here are couple of my favourite passages:
"In Enterprise Architecture, I think there has been a tendency to think of standardisation as the key to success. That may be at the expense of encouraging and valuing self-expression and local culture"
"Strategy for EA: Enhancing Enterprise Performance with Structural Innovations"
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