//EA Poster – The Business Functions of Enterprise Architecture

EA Poster – The Business Functions of Enterprise Architecture

Not long ago, I got an e-mail from someone I had not met, directed from this blog.  He had used the diagram I had presented in a prior post (One EA Team, Three EA Functions) to convince his CIO that their company needed Enterprise Architecture.  Direct Quote:

“Today I presented EA to our CIO and he bought the idea. Your BPMN diagram was key to the sale cause we are used to deal with activity diagrams as part of our RUP projects and he understood the process perfectly.”

First off, I really enjoy getting feedback like this.  It is good to know that my efforts to (describe / educate / challenge / annoy) the business of IT planning actually has some positive effects.

What this particular reader did not know is that I go beyond providing the process model by itself.  I created a poster, based around that same diagram, with surrounding context.  That poster is on the door to my office.  I have also circulated it with many folks here inside MSFT, all with positive remarks.

So, in the spirit of sharing, and in the hope that someone else may also find it useful, I’ll include a link to a PDF file with the full poster that I use.  (For best results, print on 11×17 (tabloid) sized paper on a color printer.)

Business Functions of EA.pdf

By |2008-09-17T21:15:00+00:00September 17th, 2008|Enterprise Architecture|6 Comments

About the Author:

President of Vanguard EA, an Enterprise Architecture consulting firm in Seattle focused on the Pacific coast of the US. Nick has over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".


  1. Steve Rdzak September 23, 2008 at 6:01 pm - Reply


    Thanks for sharing! I have actually plotted this in 22×34 size and have posted it outside my office! Our architecture team has tried in the past to describe EA to our IT leadership but visions of Zachman and TOGAF have caused them to reach for the Blackberry and stop paying attention.

    This process centric approach is just the ticket for communication to leadership! While there is quite a bit of work behind each activity I believe it is much easier to action from your process model!

    Bravo! Job well done. I hope you get lots of downloads and positive comments from the architect community outside of MSFT!

  2. Matt Brewer October 16, 2008 at 9:51 am - Reply


    Thank you for this clear, concise diagram of the EA function.  My organization is still finding its way along this path.  I hope to use this to (re)focus our efforts.

    This is the first artifact on EA that I’ve seen that provides a clear breakdown of the separate, yet cohesive, functions of an EA department.  I think these "separate hats" are what makes it hard to define an EA department to the rest of IT & Business.  While you don’t state that separate resources should be assigned to each of these roles, I think it might be beneficial to do so.  Do you agree?

    I second the "Bravo! Job well done."  Please do a deep dive into these roles in future posts.

  3. Inside Architecture April 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    In tough economic times, we tend to look for ways to cut costs and reduce overhead, so that we can “do

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