Any Enterprise consists, at its basics, of business processes delivering the products and the Technology and People resource layers implementing the business processes. As such Business, Technology and People become the key layers of an Enterprise Architecture (EA).
Each layer is further described by Views, filters showing only the aspects of interest to a stakeholder: for instance, the business layer consists of process, information, strategy, value chains, business models...
The people layer is more often than not, left out since, frequently, the EA framework covers solely IT. Not so in this framework. The Technology layer consists of IT Applications and Infrastructure architectures and other non-IT technology. Information is spread across layers: conceptually it exists in the business layer but in physical form, in all layers.
Any Enterprise structure is shaped by its Value Chain.
Fundamental Enterprise Functions, such as Operations (delivering the product),Development (developing the product & capability, R&D...) and Support (HR, technology management) are consistent with the Value Chain representation. A Governance function is specifically defined here, since it is the center of a Virtual Enterprise concept; it is managing the Enterprise, coordinating all other Functions and it, ultimately, identifies the Enterprise. These basic structure of any Enterprise is defined as GODS: Governance, Operations, Development and Support. Each of these functions consists of lower level business functions.
Here is now an EA framework built on these components: business Functions, Flows (Processes), Layers and Views (FFLV) and the GODS (Governance, Operations, Development, Support) structure. The Framework and its application illustrated in the picture is further described in the Enterprise Architecture book listed in the footer.
Each business function consists of at least a process and the technology and organizational role executing the process.
And the EA Framework key views are depicted in the next picture.
The Business Reference Map is a template used to ease the development for all and everybody. It consists of an initial phase of Marketing and Forecasting/Planning, followed by Operations (Product delivery) and Sales and Service (the products). This view may change depending of the Enterprise type.
A Single Page Architecture is a the reference for all stakeholders since it describes the basic structure and operation of the Enterprise in one page (size A4 or A3).
FFLV is described by three Layers - Business, Technology and People - and ultimately the Views describing them. Business consists of process, strategy and other Views at various degree of detail. Same, Technology consists of IT applications, infrastructure and non-IT technology...
An FFLV workflow (flow) will look like a sequence of business Functions, consisting of Business processes, Technology and People.
A View, is the graphical representation of all objects in a repository and their interconnections which have been selected because they reflect a specific aspect of concern as for instance the Content Management View. The selection of the attribute can be done from the EA cube GUI or menus. Attribute combinations can be selected by an SQL like statement, automatically generated at the menu selection or mouse click on the graphical EA framework representation.
Largely, a metamodel, from an EA tool point of view, describes the object metadata, i.e. the structure of the Enterprise objects. The metamodel is a reflection of the EA framework at the EA object level. An EA architecture framework is incorporated in the EA object metadata: the attributes of EA objects describe the layers and the structure of the framework the EA object is part of.
Starting from the attributes of an object, the diagrams of interconnections and relationships between objects could be drawn. This is also the way some EA tools generate dependencies diagrams on the selection of specific Enterprise objects attributes from the repository.
For the proposed FFLV EA framework, a Function, as the basic unit of the Enterprise, may be represented by a single object in the metamodel. The Function object may be decomposed in lower level sub-Functions but ultimately, all Functions consist of the three Layers - Business, Technology and People - which are described by an unlimited number of Views . As a result, an object in the metamodel, is described by many attributes representing the Views the object belongs to.
The Enterprise structure, described in the previous post, consists of business functions/processes organized in the Value Chain. Also, the Enterprise operation can be depicted by a number of workflows delivering services to stakeholders. At the same time, the Enterprise consists of layers described by views. The merged representation of Functions, Flows, Layers and Views (FFLV), appearing as a cube, constitutes the FFLV Enterprise Architecture framework.
The FFLV Framework Navigation
The FFLV cube representation becomes the Enterprise Architecture navigation User Interface. The Functions, Flows, Layers or Views represent entry points into the EA navigation framework. You may pick a Flow or a Function to navigate for instance:
Fig 1: The FFLV Framework Navigation Screen
For the cube navigation, select the Function, Flow, Layer/Views from the Drop-Down Menu or click directly on a Function, Flow or Layer/View on the FFLV framework. Navigation can also be performed with Up/Down, Back and Home buttons; you may also select a different level of business function detail or granularity (zoom in/out).
All objects and connection lines are stored in an Enterprise Architecture repository. Ideally, once a View is selected for display and visually edited, the tool should be able to retain the visual configuration of objects and interconnection lines and re-create the shape of the diagram on subsequent selections. Editing will allow the diagram shape and configuration customization. The objects and their relationships should be edited by an EA tool.