Methods, policies, procedures, techniques, audit programs, checklists, articles and tools about Enterprise Governance, Risk, Compliance, Strategic, Operational, Finance, IT and other internal corporate controls and how all of these improve the enterprise governance, strategic and operational aspects of private and public-sector organizations in all business functions of the modern organizations and enterprises.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Human Factors in EA Implementation
Factors in EA Implementation
By John Kyriazoglou
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is used to align IT
systems with your business strategy and objectives (for more details see my
book: E-Book: ‘How to Align IT with your Business’, Direct Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009E6U8Z8).
It has proven a very difficult and cumbersome process.
My experience has taught me that when implementing
enterprise architecture for your own company and business environment the most
important issue for success is to manage the human aspects (so called ‘soft
controls’) permeating any such difficult and cumbersome effort.
All of these soft
controls relate to tone at the
of the organization by the board, culture, structure of reporting
relationships, morale, integrity
and ethical values, operational philosophy, trust, ethical climate,
empowerment, etc., and are directly linked to the emotional
contracting issue, also referred to as 'the psychological contract'. This is
the crucial and powerful link between the organizational performance intent
(board and management planning to implement enterprise architecture), and the
motivations, values and aspirations of the people (EA coordinator, enterprise
architect, IT staff, etc.) instructed to carry out all implementation tasks.
This emotional contracting element is sometimes
overlooked by organizations, board members and managers, and that is the reason
that may explain why the people have failed to do what the organization
expected and asked them to do.
Soft internal controls (trust, integrity, values
and beliefs, etc.) should be part of the organizational process of strategy
setting and ethical environment establishment. Corporate policies and
procedures, vision and mission statements, strategic planning, ethics codes,
job descriptions, training and coaching of staff, compliance programs, etc.,
are the tools and the hard controls that help define whether an organization
consistently will do (supposedly ) the right thing.
An organization (private or public) might have
written codes of conduct and other value defining type documents (vision,
mission, values, social responsibility, etc.) but that does not guarantee whether
they are actually followed consistently. Most of the real understanding will
not be expressly written in any document but better evidenced in the day-to-day
discharge of everyday duties and interactions. For example, the ethical culture
can only rise as high as the tone set by the board and the senior executive
management. If management distributes the message about ethics poorly or worst
yet, delegates the message to subordinate levels, then the effectiveness of the
ethical culture is greatly diminished.
The best way to reinforce soft controls and
therefore ensure better EA implementation for your business is to (probably)
formalize them. I recommend this to be the task of a senior board member of
your company. This can be accomplished by Soft
Controls Management Action Plan, as described next.
Action 1. Establish and
monitor the implementation of an ethics code and a fraud policy and associated
Action 2. Ensure that
your EA process is well communicated to all parties within your company.
Action 3. Interview key
organization personnel and select the best for the EA implementation project.
Action 4. Implement
training, coaching and mentoring programs for all critical staff involved in
your EA implementation.
Action 5. Certify
critical personnel (finance, IT, audit, purchasing, etc.) to ensure success of
your EA process.
Action 6. Certify, if
needed, all your critical functions (finance, IT, audit, purchasing, quality,
customer service, etc.) related to EA.
Action 7. Review and
improve all soft controls and particularly pay attention to how these are
related to your EA project and to the linking of your IT strategy to your
It is your duty, as a board member or senior
executive, to handle all these successfully and therefore avoid any potential