Enterprise Architect version 13.5

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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 02:57

Standards, Interoperability and Innovation

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; a part of the main;"

 - John Donne

 

Connectedness:

As the impact from the digital industrial economy takes effect, not only will it inform enterprise how to successfully leverage globally interconnected technology to deliver results according to the mission and vision of the company - the impact will drive the need to digitally renew the business. A connected world eliminates silos and the extent of connectivity determines levels of inclusion in the digital economy, the quality of services and products and the resulting customer loyalty.

 

Innovation from Inspiration:

The Ptolemaic SystemInnovation is a palimpsest of disruptions, evidence that the advances of modern science are inspired by the achievements of the past.  The majority of innovative ideas take products, services or processes that are already working and improve on them. One clear example is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) which, when completed, will provide unprecedented information about distant galaxies, nearby asteroids and the dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. It will boost technological development and ‘has the potential to transform our knowledge of the universe’ which for centuries, was inspired by Ptolemy.

The stars have provided pointers for the earliest exploratory excursions of mankind and  Ptolemy’s Almagest published in the first century, is a codification of the constellations and a catalogue of the fixed stars. For 1400 years, it was the standard astronomical reference and one of the most influential books in the history of Western astronomy.  Still today, standards support industry competitiveness, improve performance and enable technology such as the LSST. They do this by assisting with the codification and dissemination of new knowledge and innovations and ensuring interoperability.

 

Interoperability:

Across every industry sector, Sparx Systems directly supports standards development and those enterprise architects who rely on standards to navigate business enterprise through rapid and unprecedented change. In the burgeoning geospatial sector open standards enable organizations to take advantage of new geospatial information sources and technology tools and they are a central element of open government. Interoperability is a key aim of open standards and their development offers stakeholders such as governments, universities, research organisations and business enterprises the opportunity to participate in their development.

 

Integration:

Within the geospatial market, standards are driving rapid change and technology deployment while creating new cross - domain opportunities. The United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) provides leadership in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and promoting its application to address key global challenges.
The United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management was formed in 2011.  Later that year, the First High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management, and the First Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Experts from 90 countries met to enhance global cooperation in the field of geospatial information management.
 

ArcGIS Geodatabase Design with UMLInformation Accessibility:

In 2012 the Secretary General of the UN Economic and Social Council identified “better integration of geospatial and statistical information, as a key challenge” in meeting information needs and in 2014 the United Nations Global Forum on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information took place. The UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information is developing a global statistical-geospatial framework – modelled on the Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This Framework will provide a common approach to connecting people-centric (socio-economic) information to a location, and improve the accessibility and usability of this spatially-enabled information.

 

Standards:

The spatial and statistical communities operate different metadata capabilities and approaches to ensure that these two metadata environments can work together effectively are being investigated. Metadata standards being reviewed include: Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX), Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), and the international geospatial metadata standard ISO19115.

The recently released Address Standard ISO 19160-1 defines a conceptual model for address information together with the terms and definitions that describe the concepts in the model. The model provides a common representation of address information, independent of actual addressing implementations and a means to cross-map between different conceptual models for address information and enables the conversion of address information between specifications. The Address Standard is essential to the aims of the SSF in the sharing, accessing and dissemination of information.

 

Collaboration:

Sparx Systems continues to support both the global statistical and geospatial communities and has enhanced Enterprise Architect with the inclusion of profiles for ArcGIS and GML for this sector. In addition, through our collaboration program, Sparx Systems has partnered with CSIRO to support the ongoing development of model registry features and functionality for Enterprise Architect.

As stated by Geoffrey Sparks, Sparx Systems CEO in a recent interview, “I am strongly committed to the development and implementation of common, well understood modeling languages that enable disparate domains to communicate and integrate their specific processes and architectures into a single, well understood platform.”

In the coming years Sparx Systems imagines new tools and information processing capabilities that further support the transformation of models into executable form.

Published in Sparx Insights
Thursday, 21 January 2016 01:48

The Agile Business Analyst

“It's not the technology that's scary; it's what it does to the relations between people that's scary”

- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Everything Changing:

We are all aware that we are living in a period of unprecedented disruption where everything that we thought as being the status quo, business as usual, is changing rapidly.  Technology ‘disrupts existing markets and value networks, displacing established market leaders and alliances’.  Popular examples are Uber which is challenging the taxi industry model. Then there is AirBnB challenging the accommodation industry model and 3D printing which is challenging the manufacturing model.  

However, in a recent interview Jay Scanlan and Paul Wilmot from McKinsey, posit that unlike a pure play disrupter such as Uber, “our incumbent organizations and our incumbent clients have a broader range of concerns that they need to address. And they have a broader range of customer needs and consumer demands that they want to fulfill.”

Unlike start ups, incumbent organizations hold valuable assets like people, finance and data, etc. Scanlan and Wilmot pose the question as to how incumbents will strategically use these assets to defend themselves against aggressive competition, as digital disrupts their industry.

 

agile cycle 300pxAgile... The New Norm:

In the face of this change, the adoption of Agile approaches to project management is growing.  It is expected that in 2016 the US Federal Government General Services Administration will solicit bids for a number of major agile projects.  This follows the piloting of agile projects last year by 18F, an agile development consulting arm, within General Services Administration.

A recent survey of development and IT professionals, shows that Agile is now the norm. The majority of development teams and projects now embrace the methodology, while pure waterfall approaches are in the minority. The study conducted by HP in 2014 consisted of an online survey of 601 software developers and IT professionals  representing over 600 organisations,  where 400 + described themselves as “pure agile”.

According to Gartner “Digital business will require application leaders to explore development outside of traditional IT and to ensure fast-paced incremental releases in order to be competitive.”  Just as digital transformation is changing role of application leaders such as the CIO, so too it is impacting the role of the Business Analyst (BA) in the private and public sectors.

 

The Agile Business Analyst:

The BA has traditionally embraced the rapids of change much like a canoeist. Using the IIBA Body of Knowledge (BABOK) as both their map and compass, they engage the volatility and uncertainty of change. With an innate capability they navigate successful transits, piloting by their experience and understanding of the different currents and hazards.  

Agile presents great opportunity for the BA.  In the process of connecting people and engendering understanding, improving product quality and increasing customer satisfaction, they have the potential to play many roles, to become the consultant.

A key finding of the HP survey was that the majority of participants agreed that “the primary motivators for Agile adoption are associated with improving team collaboration and increasing software quality and customer satisfaction.”

Becoming increasingly involved in Agile projects and addressing the growth in the variety of concerns of the stakeholder (the Customer) will require that the BA leverage the use of Agile tools.  This technology will enable the BA to help their clients find ways to make Agile work for them.


BABOK  3.0 Reference Model - an Agile Approach:

babok mindmap shotRecently, through a collaboration agreement between International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and Sparx Systems, a BABOK 3.0 Reference Model has been developed in Enterprise Architect.

This Reference Model provides case studies covering every knowledge area, task and technique in the BABOK Guide. Each case study contains hundreds of examples utilizing diagrams, matrices, charts, documents, and a plethora of tools.  This functionality with many others is combined with the power of Enterprise Architect.

The Reference Model links the BABOK 3.0 to a rich and complete User Guide that provides help and guidance with every aspect of using Enterprise Architect.  Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the control center supporting real time collaborative Enterprise Architecture planning, building, testing, deployment and communication across all domains and stakeholders.


Enterprise Agile Adoption:

As the constraints of the traditional enterprise architecture approach are replaced by the force of digital convergence and transformation, executives seek agile enterprise architecture approaches and technologies that are fit for purpose.  The tools deployed to manage that architecture are critical to the success of digital transformation.

Detailed descriptions in the Reference Model will teach the Business Analysts how to use the tool to complete tasks and perform techniques including process modeling and requirements management. Videos, slideshows and white papers add to the rich set of guidance that will help BA's become an Agile Business Analyst assisting organizations to become more purposeful in how they choose to adopt Agile.

Seeking customer feedback and quickly improving the product, fuels the success of many disruptive technologies.  This is the approach of Sparx Systems to the ongoing development of Enterprise Architect. As Sparx Systems CEO, Geoff Sparks notes, “Agile development provides a shared and flexible team experience through complete transparency, iterative development and constant feedback - it has been the essential design goal of Enterprise Architect for over a decade and it will remain just as valid today.”

 

Additional Information:

Published in Sparx Insights

In an earlier Sparx Systems White Paper the scenario of a jigsaw puzzle was used as a metaphor for agile, flexible and collaborative response to the creation of a shared vision within an environment that is in a state of high flux.  The process of digital transformation will increase the probability of technology failure and change to complex systems will heighten risk exposure. It is essential that organisations mitigate these threats by deploying tools to support the creation of enterprise wide, agile responses. This paper discusses the inter relationship between managing digital transformation, collaborative agile tools and approaches and provides relevant examples of industry responses to digital disruption.

In the puzzle scenario, the mutual dependencies and unpredictability could be analogous to the challenges of digital transformation. Traditional business models will be driven to change by the forces of disruption and current business and IT portfolios will need to meet future demand. The agility with which organisations respond to these changes will be the key factor that governs their future success or their relegation to the beleaguered, whose business models have been made redundant.
 
These forces of digital disruption actually encourage business agility. The scalability afforded by cloud technology for example enables highly flexible service costs. Gartner predicts that “By 2017, 40 percent of utilities with smart metering solutions will use cloud-based big data analytics to address asset-, commodity-, customer- or revenue-related needs.”  In another example the just released “2014 Airlines IT Trends Survey” reveals that “the disruption caused by mobile is so significant that airlines feel that they must invest in mobile services to ensure that they are not left behind.” The survey also reports that “Today, 100% of airlines are investing in the mobile space.”  In the retail industry social media on mobile phones is creating a constant feedback loop that informs the development of business agility. As it permits real-time interactions with customers, it also drives growth.  The 17th Annual Global CEO Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, reports that technology is already having a far-reaching impact on healthcare delivery and CEOs are already planning ways to take advantage of this trend.  89% plan to improve their ability to innovate; 93% plan to change their technology investments; and 95% are exploring better ways of using and managing big data.

Across industry, successful business evolution over the next decade will be based on the extent to which organisations can harness the forces of disruption and become the disrupting force.  Organisational risk profiles will be changed by these forces and the new profiles will inform strategy and decision making. To translate business vision and digital strategy into effective enterprise change will require that leaders possess the ability to visualise, simulate and optimise the target state and ensure that the activities of everyone in the business are co-ordinated.

A systematic approach to the management of change provides an inclusive framework that considers the whole enterprise as well as the needs of different stakeholders. This agile business approach ensures that during the change process lifecycle, priorities are regularly assessed and progress continually monitored.  As requirements are identified adjustments are made by managers and their teams, and not left to the end.

Data visualisation enables insights that support faster and more effective decision making while improving communication and bridging the IT – Business divide. To enable agility and insight to support decision making, organisations must also address silos in legacy systems, business, and information. 

Enterprise Architect is and remains a technology that is fit for purpose in meeting the challenges of the changing business and IT environment. Visually powerful, it provides a fantastic viewpoint of multiple technologies and organizational units, all working together. Team review, shared data models and model mail are all in-built tools that can improve communication and break down silos, because everyone is using the same data/info/model.

To more effectively manage growing complexity and to stay focused and in control, agile and traditional teams choose Enterprise Architect.  Due to very competitive total cost of ownership, large and distributed teams can collaborate more effectively and increase speed and ease, in the design, build, and management of their solutions and processes. 

The industry tested traceability features of Enterprise Architect speak directly to shared awareness and clarity on what has been previously achieved.  According to Gartner, “An agile, multidimensional approach to architecture is absolutely essential to support continuous development and innovation. Give developers the tools to fail fast, iterate quickly and innovate for business transformation.”  The Kanban burndown charts that have been added to Enterprise Architect help to bring project reality into clear focus by showing the work done against the timeline, decision impacts and eliminate fuzziness about time based goals and deadlines.


Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect combines Agile projects with non Agile projects in a single projects portfolio, eliminating the necessity for any additional tools. For further information on tools for digital transformation and the creation of a shared vision within an environment that is in a state of high flux go to:

http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/11/

Published in White Papers