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Adopt 10 Universal Enterprise Architecture Principles

Create a foundation of shared beliefs for guiding the use of IT in constructing, transforming, and operating your organization.


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Your Challenge

  • At every organization, every day, employees at various levels make decisions on how IT is used in building, transforming, and operating the enterprise.
  • These decisions affect enterprise performance, both short and long term.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • IT policies assign authority and accountability for making key IT decisions and outline mandatory process steps, but don’t say what should guide the decision-making process.
  • Naturally, employees in different departments and at different levels have different, often competing priorities.
  • Moreover, employees tend to make decisions leaning on their own assumptions as to how IT should be used by the organization. IT decisions, guided by foundational beliefs that differ, lack cohesiveness in achieving enterprise goals and require an increased IT governance effort to achieve policy compliance and realize desired business outcomes.

Impact and Result

  • EA principles succinctly communicate the organization’s intent as to the use of IT in building, transforming, and operating the enterprise and provide a foundation of shared beliefs that guide IT decision making across the organization.
  • EA principles represent a key component of IT governance and should guide the development of domain-specific policies (e.g. security policy, procurement policy) that elaborate on particular implications of principles in specific process areas.

Research & Tools

1. Develop a sponsored mandate for EA principles

Establish an EA Principles Group and create an executive-sponsored charter.

2. Understand what makes a good EA principle

Explain the qualities of good EA principles.

3. Define EA principles

Write up to ten EA principles and define rationale and implications.

4. Operationalize EA principles

Create a communication plan to promote EA principles.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Call #1 - Confirm the need for EA principles

Make the EA principles decision. Understand why your organization needs EA principles. You will discuss the benefits of having good EA principles that are followed, their role in IT governance, and the 3-phase approach to implement them.

Call #2 - Validate the EA principles group charter

Write the charter to obtain executive approval for establishing a cross-functional working group with representatives from both business and IT to write EA principles. Validate it with our Analysts before you present it to your project sponsors.

Call #3 - Understand what makes a good EA principle

Before you start writing your EA principles, review the qualities of good EA principles: approach-focused, relevant, long-lasting, prescriptive, verifiable, easily digestible, and followed. Verify your preliminary EA principles ideas.

Call #4 - Review EA principles

Define your EA principles. Review your EA principles and the accompanying presentation deck with our Analysts before presenting them to your IT Steering Committee for approval.

Call #5 - Prepare to get EA principles endorsed

Prepare to present your EA principles to the IT Steering Committee for approval.

Call #6 - Validate the communication plan and roadmap

Build an EA Principles Operationalization Roadmap and an EA Principles Communication Plan. Validate them with our Analysts before you present them to your IT Steering Committee for approval.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define Candidate EA Principles

The Purpose

  • Understand EA principles.
  • Create an EA Principles Group Charter Document.
  • Identify strategic themes.
  • Understand what makes a good EA.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Deep understanding of EA principles.
  • Charter document completed, making sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Strategic themes identified.
  • List of principles defined.




“Fireside” chat about EA principles.

  • Confirmed workshop agenda and goals.

Draft EA Principles Group charter document.

  • Key strategic themes.

Identify key strategic themes for business and IT.

  • EA Principles Group charter draft.

Module 2: Elaborate EA Principles and Define Next Steps

The Purpose

  • Prioritize candidate EA principles by importance and relevance.
  • Generate rationale ideas for EA principles.
  • Generate implication ideas for EA principles.
  • Create a communication plan for EA principles.
  • Define next steps to implement EA principles across the organization and make them followed.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understanding of the importance/relevance of your EA principles.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the rationale and implications of EA principles.
  • Understanding of how to proceed.




Define rationales and implications for EA prinicples.

  • List of EA principles.

Create a communication plan for EA principles.

  • EA principles communication plan.

Create an operationalization roadmap to implement EA principles and make them followed.

  • Next steps.

Search Code: 76547
Published: December 2, 2014
Last Revised: December 2, 2014