Enterprise Architect version 14.0

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Enterprise Architecture

 

Enterprise Architects are now being reported as the highest paid discipline in IT, however with this realization organizations need to ensure they are getting the most out of these highly-skilled professionals. The skills and experience of Enterprise Architects combined with the right tools like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect can support business agility with a lowered exposure to risk.

 

Glassdoor, the job posting and company feedback website, recently published its annual 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America list with the technology sector boasting 65% of highest-paying jobs. The title of 'Enterprise Architect' however did best, coming in at #4 overall. This annual list from Glassdoor is produced using employee-submitted salary reports, which are then used to rank them according to their annual base salary and the job openings/listings posted that year.

 

It's gratifying to see organizations are better-valuing the contribution of technically-skilled workers - especially given that IT capabilities are increasingly the wellspring of organizational growth. According to the list, Enterprise Architects are now the highest paid IT discipline and are highly sort-after in the workplace. This also bears out in last year's Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey which found enterprise architecture is the fastest-growing technology skill; up a "massive" 26 per cent compared with the previous year. All this begs the question - what is it about Enterprise Architects in particular that are commanding such wages and enjoying such standing in the workplace?

 

We know that Enterprise Architects are at the nexus of business and technology, working to align business strategy and IT execution. They are also increasingly responsible for envisioning and supporting future business capabilities by anticipating and evaluating IT investments and development. This all requires excellent strategic thinking, communication and problem-solving skills, along with a wide range of technical capabilities.

 

However, like many change-agents, Enterprise Architects encounter resistance and are required to continually prove the value and viability of their solutions. To this end, Enterprise Architects must demonstrably connect their work with long-term business strategy in a compelling fashion, otherwise the many competing elements at play within an organization - such as short-term vs. long-term business interests and business vs. IT prerogatives - can inhibit an architect's ability to get anything done. The ability to connect strategy and execution is essential for buy-in from the right business and IT stakeholders.

 

Wally McLaughlin, Director of Sales at Sparx Services North America notes, “We encounter leaders every day who have skilled and experienced architects on their teams – some really talented people. But in-spite of all of that knowledge, their teams are struggling to explain to business leaders and decision makers how to affect real transformational change. Companies are complex, but with the right modeling tools like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, Architects can help leaders break down the complexity into manageable parts that the rest of the organization can understand and act upon.”

 

Ideally by drawing a line between business strategy, architectures and outcomes like business processes, databases and source code, Enterprise Architects can hope to create clear demonstrable links between strategy and execution. Of course, extracting corporate strategy itself can be difficult (especially in cases where it's non-existent), but by referencing documented roadmaps and consulting executive staff, Enterprise Architects can at least begin to model the corporate strategies that should guide IT strategy. In fact, by allowing business executives to view the business roadmaps while they are defined, Enterprise Architects can prompt some useful discussions that help organizations identify opportunities for growth.

 

Example diagram types useful for documenting this information in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect include Strategy maps that offer a coherent view of the enterprise business strategy and Value Chains that reveal where real business value lies. Enterprise Architects can then create linkages in the meta-model from strategy maps to all areas of the enterprise.

 

When IT silos develop within an organization, often it can mean IT initiatives continue for some time without a cohesive approach. Enterprise Architects can help bring IT strategy back into focus by reviewing current processes, products and initiatives and their links to corporate strategy. This is especially simple where organizations are already using modeling platforms like Enterprise Architect to model their software and systems. With enterprise-wide collaborative tools, Enterprise Architects can begin to break down silos across business architecture, IT architecture and systems to better direct the organization's development priorities.

 

Business Capability Modeling is a great way to represent and communicate the future and current states of business operations. It defines what a company needs to execute its strategy. Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect contains built-in business profiles and technologies that Enterprise Architects can use define current and future state architectures and then trace system deployment and business processes from management decisions and corporate strategy. A further GAP Analysis can be used to analyze model artifacts, identifying potential gaps between solution architectures. Staff competencies, data and information, business processes, lines of business and more can be modeled to analyze current and future states of an enterprise.

Architects can create incremental versions of their architecture models in Enterprise Architect with Time Aware Modeling, with tools that facilitate the migration of elements through multiple versions. This provides the ability to trace any changes as the underlying architecture evolves through each stage of development, in a manner that preserves the integrity of the As-Is model elements. This allows you to track changes of an individual element over time, in conjunction with understanding changes to the broader model using Enterprise Architect's numerous traceability capabilities. Architects can then see the evolution of an architecture over different versions, and create new versions of model elements automatically and conduct insightful model simulations without altering the underlying structure of the 'As-Is' architecture.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect supports frameworks like TOGAF, Zachman, UPDM and ArchiMate which provide a formalized methodology for planning, designing and implementing an Enterprise Architecture.

 

With all this investment, Enterprise Architects need the right tools to get the job done. Why offer the wages being reported by Glassdoor and Harvey Nash/KPMG and then give them a spreadsheet? There is a lot on the line. Not only is software and systems increasingly critical to both day-to-day operations and growth, there is a large financial investment in Enterprise Architects themselves. A platform like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect equips Enterprise Architects with the tools to effectively execute corporate strategy whilst keeping teams connected and collaborating toward a shared vision.

 

If you would like a trial of Enterprise Architect, please visit: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/ea/trial/request.html

To learn more, Sparx Systems has released a new Enterprise Architecture Guidebook.

 

 

Published in Sparx Insights

SparxSystems CE: Belgian Railway relies on Enterprise Architect

In order to prepare itself for the liberalisation of national railway markets in 2023, the Belgian National Railway Company SNCB has developed an architecture continuum using Enterprise Architect over the last three years. With more than 1000 applications in use and a huge volume of data, this was not an easy task. Today, IT decisions can be made more easily based on reliable information, and the company is now able to move toward a modern IT landscape.

SNBC1

 Luc Alix (left), Head of Enterprise Architecture and Alain Garsoux (right) in charge of Architecture Governance at Ypto, a subsidiary of the Belgian National Railway Company

Vienna/Brussels – In 2005, the Belgian National Railway Company was divided into three public companies, in accordance with European and Belgian regulations. This naturally had considerable consequences for the common IT: Thousands of components (applications, servers, networks, etc.) had to be recorded, analysed and reassigned. To ease this IT transformation, SNCB decided to create a new IT company called “YPTO”, a 100% subsidiary. Ypto started to invest in its enterprise architecture with Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems. Luc Alix, Head of Enterprise Architecture, hired Alain Garsoux to promote and improve Ypto’s architectural knowledge database (continuum). Alix: "We very soon decided to define our own architecture framework by adopting and integrating major architecture standards like Archimate™, TOGAF™, BPMN, SAFe, etc.. The adopted prescriptive language helps the decision-making process by forcing us to address the important concerns and not getting lost in details.”

Enterprise Architect: Cost-effective and adaptable

Since a suitable tool is naturally required for the construction of such a complex IT landscape, the decision was made to purchase based on specificity. Enterprise Architect proved to be the cheapest and most adaptable solution. A. Garsoux explains: "Being active in the public sector forces us to regularly reconfirm the purchase, the good price of the platform has so far always made it possible to extend the licenses and to avoid migration tasks. This allows us to continuously work with the tool, which has now been ideally adapted and makes our architecture work much easier and more productive.” Hans Bartmann, Managing Director of SparxSystems Central Europe: "We are pleased that Enterprise Architect has so far overcome the hurdle of tenders so well due to its excellent price-performance ratio, adaptability and openness to many languages and standards. At the same time we congratulate SNCB on their state-of-the-art IT architectural solution, which can also serve as a very good example for other companies!”

SNBC2

The EA Shared Model Repository provides an overview The EA Shared Model Repository provides an overview of the mapped areas and guidelines for modeling

Open tool to reduce complexity

During the embedding phase for the modeling platform, Ypto specified precise guidelines for solution architects. Standard architectural views were defined to support the work of 12 Enterprise Architects and 50 Solution Architects. "Thanks to pre-fab architecture diagrams, we are able to easily capture our current complex IT landscape into the architecture knowledge database (Continuum). The captured raw data is then transformed into actionable information to support decision making”, says A. Garsoux. With this capture, a continuous documentation is automatically updated, which is of decisive importance for traceability and further developments.

The analysis of the existing applications showed for example that currently up to 20 applications are necessary for the handling of a single business activity. Since each of these applications (currently over 1.000) has to be maintained, the declared goal is to significantly reduce this number. "For any new request for change, we always start by specifying the impacted business activities and the impacted applications. From this we can very quickly see - thanks to our architectural knowledge database - what things we want to keep and what needs to be renewed,” says the IT architect.

SNBC3

The Architecture Framework provides an overall view of the IT architecture

New applications are subject to precise specifications

"Precise architectural principles have been defined for all applications, which must be adhered to. Only in this way can we ensure that we achieve a uniform architecture. The framework also helps us to make very efficient decisions on certain developments," explains A. Garsoux. The IT architect now describes the structure as mature and ready for roll-out in the company, which is already ongoing. But he also knows that this will require a lot of internal persuasion: "The commitment to this forward-looking IT architecture must now spread throughout the company, because this of course entails changes. Our delivered information convinced our management and we prove every day that we are taking a decisive step towards a prosperous future for SNCB!"

 

The SNCB

SNCB is Belgium’s national railway company. It is a public company which provides the operation and marketing of railway services for national and international passenger and freight transport. It is also responsible for the maintenance of the rolling stock. SNCB employs around 21,000 people and has a turnover of 2.2 billion euros. It also owns shares in Eurostar and Thalys, as well as in the IFB and TRW branches. SNCB plays a crucial role in the development of sustainable mobility by providing a quality, reliable service that is in line with the market.

 

About Sparx Systems

Enterprise Architect is the world’s premiere UML/SysML modeling platform. Produced in Australia by Sparx Systems since 1996, it has been implemented by over 730,000 users worldwide, due not only to its high performance at an unbeatable price. Enterprise Architect is a powerful yet intuitive modeling tool that facilitates any desired level of explicitness and precision in the development, analysis and documentation of even the most complex systems and architectures. Individuals and teams can use EA to design and produce software systems, perform business process modeling, handle requirements or model any process or system using standardized or custom modeling languages and frameworks with maximum reuse and traceability throughout. Pro Cloud Server and WebEA allow geographically-distributed model-based development and engineering teams to actively collaborate on any number of ongoing projects in real time. SparxSystems Software Central Europe was founded in 2004 in Vienna, Austria to provide individuals and organizations in Europe's core German-speaking and other economically-aligned markets with Enterprise Architect software licenses, training and support in their own language and time zone.

Published in Case Studies

sparx services north america logo

Sparx Services North America launches new offerings to support the BIZBOK® Guide for Business Architecture

Sparx Services North America is pleased to announce a new set of training, consulting and technology offerings aligned to the BIZBOK Guide to support the Business Architecture discipline.  Business Architecture is an essential part of companies’ digital transformation and operational excellence strategies - weaving together people, processes, information and technology in support of strategic vision and operational objectives. A Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge® (BIZBOK Guide) from the Business Architecture Guild® represents the generally accepted standards of practice for the Business Architecture discipline.

BIZBOK Training Offerings

Whether you are a new or aspiring Business Architect seeking to learn the fundamentals of the role; a seasoned Enterprise, Business, Information or Systems Architect looking to add the BIZBOK methodology to your toolbox; or a company that uses Sparx Enterprise Architect today and are looking to bring best-practices into your architecture function – the BIZBOK training offerings from Sparx Services North America, a Guild Accredited Training Provider®, can help provide the skills you need to succeed.

BIZBOK Foundation: A 3-day course covering the core framework content of the BIZBOK to help students prepare for the Certified Business Architect® exam from the Business Architecture Guild.

Sparx Enterprise Architect BIZBOK: A 2-day course to help students understand how to use Sparx Enterprise Architect (the industry leading EA tool) to support Business Architecture activities as outlined in the BIZBOK.

BIZBOK Essentials: A 5-day course that combines the framework and essential concepts from the BIZBOK Foundation course with the practical application and tooling guidance from the implementation course into an intensive overview to give students the knowledge and skills to apply the BIZBOK in their daily work. 

Business Architecture Alignment and Integration: A 2-day course focused on leveraging the BIZBOK concepts to integrate Business Architecture with existing EA, Business Analysis and Solution Delivery functions.

BIZBOK Consulting Offerings

As active contributors to the Business Architecture Guild, the architects from Sparx Services North America understand how to apply the BIZBOK framework and methods within the context of a company’s EA/BA practice along with best-practices for configuring and using Sparx Enterprise Architect to support the BIZBOK methods.

Coming Soon! BIZBOK Extension for Sparx Enterprise Architect

Sparx Services North America will soon be releasing a new BIZBOK Extension (MDG Technology) for the Sparx Enterprise Architect platform - providing pre-configured objects, data models and templates to enable Business Architects to quickly perform techniques direct from the BIZBOK using the industry leading EA tool, Sparx Enterprise Architect.

To learn more about the BIZBOK offerings from Sparx Services North America, visit www.sparxsystems.us/bizbok or contact one of our BIZBOK experts at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Business Architecture Guild, BIZBOK, A Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge, Certified Business Architect, CBA, Guild Accredited Training Program, and GATP are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Business Architecture Guild. Sparx Systems, Enterprise Architect, MDG Integration, and MDG Technology are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sparx Systems Pty Ltd

Published in News

David Rubinstein, Editor in Chief at SD Times, recently interviewed Geoffrey Sparks regarding Enterprise Architecture and how effective collaboration platforms assist in delivery of business value.

industry spotlight article sd times july 2017

 

In this month's SD Times, Sparx Systems is in the industry spotlight, discussing the new Pro-Cloud Server, WebEA and RESTful API for OSLC, as well as the role of dynamic collaboration in digital transformation.

 

In the interview, Geoffrey Sparks, CEO of Sparx Systems, comments "The ability to dynamically create models, collaborate and integrate models over multiple domains and technical platforms is a remarkable and highly agile solution that has the capacity to radically improve the quality, accuracy and effectiveness of model-based project."

 

The article also calls attention to the collaboration between Sparx Systems and the IIBA, resulting in the development of a toolkit for IIBA's Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide v3). On the collaboration Sparx Systems COO, Tom O'Reilly commented " It is the first time business analysis techniques have been actualized in this way and we are excited about the outcome."

 

Read the full article on the Sparx Systems website (PDF, 1.4Mb)

Published in News

We recently published Panorama 360 Insurance and Wealth Management Enterprise Business Architecture Framework as a book (456 pages) which is globally available on Amazon. It covers all functional  (Capabilities) and informational aspects of the industry. This enterprise business model is also available on Sparx Enterprise Architect.

Here is a link to an article that was published by Insurance Innovation Reporter's Anthony R. O'Donnell relative to the value of Panorama 360.

http://iireporter.com/panorama-360-insurance-enterprise-business-model-qa-with-author-pierre-gagne/

For any questions on the Panorama 360 Enterprise Business Model and the Sparx Enterprise Architect version, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in News
Friday, 02 December 2016 11:58

What's new with ArchiMate 3.0 & EA v.13?

ArchiMate 3.0

by Phil Chudley, Principal Consultant at Dunstan Thomas Consulting

  The Open Group released the official specification of ArchiMate 3.0 in June 2016, and this new specification is supported in Enterprise Architect version 13. This article summarises the new features and changes within ArchiMate 3.0 and provides an example of how to migrate an existing ArchiMate 2.0 model to ArchiMate 3.0 model using Enterprise Architect v.13.

Summary of Changes

The following is a summary of the changes made within ArchiMate 3.0:

  • Motivation Extension;
    • New element for modelling Outcomes.
    • New set of Strategy Elements, Resource, Capability, Course of Action.
  • Business Layer;
    • Representation of the Contract element modified so as to be different from the Business Object Element.
    • Location element removed (although Enterprise Architect has re-located this element to the Technology Layer – Physical Extension).
  • Application Layer;
    • Two new elements added, Application Process and Application Event
  • Technology layer;
    • Elements called Infrastructure in ArchiMate 2.0 are now called Technology in ArchiMate 3.0.
    • Four new elements added, Technology Process, Technology Interaction, Technology Event and Technology Collaboration.
    • New set of Physical Elements, Equipment, Facility, Distribution Network and Material. These elements are known as the Physical Extension.
  • Implementation and Migration Extension;
    • One new element added, Implementation Event.
  • Relationships;
    • Representation of Assignment modified to have a directional arrow.
    • Bi-directional Access relationship added.
    • Plus (positive) and Minus (negative) symbols added to Influence Relationship.
    • New relationship, Serving.

Detail of Changes

The following tables provided an example of the changes for each of the sections listed in the Summary of Changes above.

Motivation Extension

 Element Definition  Notation 
 Outcome An end result that has been achieved. motivation extension - outcome - ArchiMate 3.0
Resource An asset owned or controlled by an individual or organisation.  motivation extension - resource - ArchiMate 3.0
Capability  An ability that an active structure element, such as an organisation, person, or system possesses. motivation extension - capability - ArchiMate 3.0
Course of Action  An approach or plan for configuring some capabilities and resources of the enterprise, undertaken to achieve a goal. motivation extension - course of action - ArchiMate 3.0

Business Layer

 Element Definition  Notation 
 Contract A formal or informal specification of an agreement between a provided and consumer that specifies the rights and obligations associated with a product. business layer - contract - ArchiMate 3.0

Application Layer

 Element Definition  Notation 
Application Process A sequence of application behaviours that achieves a specific outcome. application layer - application process - ArchiMate 3.0
Application Event An application behaviour element that denotes a state change. application layer - application event - ArchiMate 3.0

Technology Layer

 Element Definition  Notation 
Technology Collaboration An aggregate of two or more nodes that work together to perform collective technology behaviour. technology layer - technology collaboration - ArchiMate 3.0
Technology Process A sequence of technology behaviours that achieves a specific outcome. technology layer - technology process - ArchiMate 3.0
Technology Event A technology behaviour element that denotes a state of change. technology layer - technology event - ArchiMate 3.0
Technology Interaction A unit of collective technology behaviour performed by (a collaboration of) two or more nodes. technology layer - technology interaction - ArchiMate 3.0
Equipment One or more physical machines, tools, or instruments that can create, use, store, move, or transform materials. technology layer - equipment - ArchiMate 3.0
Facility A physical structure or environment.  technology layer - facility - ArchiMate 3.0
Distribution Network A physical network used to transport materials or energy. technology layer - distribution network - ArchiMate 3.0
Material Tangible physical matter or physical elements. technology layer - material - ArchiMate 3.0

Implementation & Migration Extension

 Element Definition  Notation 
 Implementation Event A behaviour element that denotes a change of state related to an implementation or migration. implementation and migration extension - implementation event - ArchiMate 3.0

Relationships

 Element Definition  Notation 
Assignment Expresses the allocation of responsibility, performance of behaviour, or execution. relationships - assignment - ArchiMate 3.0
Serving Models that an element provides its functionality to another element. relationships - serving - ArchiMate 3.0
Access Models the ability of behaviour and active structure elements to observe or act upon passive structure elements. relationships - access - ArchiMate 3.0
Influence Models that an element affects the implementation or achievement of some motivation element. relationships - influence - ArchiMate 3.0

Implications to existing ArchiMate models

If an organisation has modelled their Enterprise Architecture using Enterprise Architect and ArchiMate 2, and are now using Version 13 of Enterprise Architect, they have two courses of action:

  1. Continue to model using ArchiMate 2.0. In this case no action is required either for Enterprise Architect or the model repository. An organisation would continue to model using ArchiMate 2.0 if they do not wish to make use of any of the new features in ArchiMate 3.0.
  2. Migrate their existing ArchiMate 2.0 model to ArchiMate 3.0, and then continue to model using ArchiMate 3.0. An organisation would continue to model using ArchiMate 2.0 if they wish to make use of any of the new features in ArchiMate 3.0.

My own personal opinion is that an organisation should consider moving to Enterprise Architect version 13 (mainly due its new feature of “Time Aware Modelling”) and ArchiMate 3.0. One of the main reasons, is due to inherent ambiguity (due to the lack of direction indication) in the assigns relationship in ArchiMate 2.0, which has been eliminated in ArchiMate 3.0 by making the assigns relationship directional.

Migrating an ArchiMate 2.0 model to ArchiMate 3.0

Enterprise Architect version 13 provides a migration script for this purpose. The following steps are used to perform the migration:

  1. Take a backup copy of the existing model repository.
  2. Using the Configure | Manage Technology ribbon, ensure that both ArchiMate 2.0 and ArchiMate 3.0 MDG technologies are enabled.
  3. Using the Code | Scripting ribbon, make the scripting window visible:
    Migrating ArchiMate 2.0 models to ArchiMate 3.0
  4. Select the topmost package (or view) that contains the model to migrate:
    Migrating ArchiMate 2.0 models to ArchiMate 3.0
  5. Select the script Migrate ArchiMate 2 to ArchiMate 3 in the scripting window.
  6. Right-click and select Run Script from the menu.
  7. The progress of the migration, together with any errors / warnings will be displayed in the system output window.
  8. Review the diagrams (you may have to tidy some of the relationships).
  9. Turn off the MDG ArchiMate 2.0 using the Configure | Manage Technology ribbon.
NOTE: It appears that composition relationships are NOT HIDDEN, when using nested structures in ArchiMate 3.0. I suspect this is an Enterprise Architect version 13 issue. This is likely to be fixed and should not deter migration, as these relationships can always be hidden using the Visible Relations function in Enterprise Architect. (Layout | Manage ribbon and select Show and Hide Relationships… from the menu). composition relationships - ArchiMate 3.0

Phil Chudley
Principal Consultant
Dunstan Thomas Consulting
@SparxEAGuru

You'll find lots of useful Enterprise Architect videos on our YouTube Channel.

Published in Tutorials

CIOReview cover 100916In a candid interview with Arun Kant from CIOReview, Sparx Systems' CEO Geoffrey Sparks highlights how Enterprise Architecture has become an imperative for survival in the ever-changing and globalized corporate landscape.

 

CIOReview has also included Sparx Systems in their '20 Most Promising Enterprise Architecture Technology Providers 2016' list, resulting from a robust selection process actioned by a highly qualified panel of domain experts. The in-depth interview with Geoffrey Sparks is the featured article in this month's edition of CIOReview, where Geoffrey discusses the Sparx Systems tradition of continual development of the Enterprise Architect platform, while maintaining the highly competitive price-point that enables affordable outfitting for all project stakeholders.

 

Geoffrey Sparx, Founder and CEO, Sparx Systems

 

To read the full featured article, simply download the PDF attachment at the top of this article.

 

cioreview ea tool vendors top 20 logo 2016

Published in News

Many organizations already have or are in the process of building catalogs and inventories of key assets either in office productivity tools like Microsoft Visio® or Excel® or collaboration tools like Microsoft SharePoint®. Managing this contents in such informal tools is very difficult to exploit and maintain. Organizations need a comprehensive, integrated platform for making investment decisions based on a holistic view of the enterprise.

Watch this new video to understand how to build an Enterprise Business Intelligence Platform using APG ModelFlow and Sparx Enterprise Architect. Go from spreadsheet to full-fledged modeling in minutes!      

 

 APG_ModelFlow_EstablishBaseline.JPG

 

» Watch now!
Published in News
Thursday, 21 July 2016 05:42

Kanban with Enterprise Architect

At Sparx Systems there are a number of key objectives that are always in the minds of the developers. One is delivering what the end user wants and the other is to exceed end user expectations, by delivering to their needs at an affordable price point. A third objective is to add value by making the end user experience more practical, inclusive and convenient.

 

These are the reasons why Enterprise Architect is the total modelling and design environment, -adaptable and extensible, providing all that is required by the end user and reducing or eliminating the inconvenience of access to the “external application”. That’s a simple expectation of a modelling tool, and the Sparx Systems interpretation of this expectation puts Enterprise Architect Version 13 in a class of its own.

 

Kanban was first introduced into Enterprise Architect Version 11. As a key agile process, Kanban is a method for managing knowledge work, with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery. It presents all participants with a full view of the process, from task definition, to delivery to a customer. Because Kanban is a set of practices that can also be implemented in traditional hierarchical bureaucracy, it does not present a threat to the existing culture and can work within different cultures.

 

In 2015 a Forrester survey found that the customer experience topped priorities for business and technology leaders. Based on these results Forrester forecasts that in 2016, customer experience “will be among the top 10 critical success factors determining who will win and who will fail in the age of the customer.” This is interesting because agile processes embrace change, which translates as the customer’s competitive advantage. Or put another way, the price of survival is to become agile. In recent times Kanban has been applied to the process of developing software-centric solutions in an attempt to ensure that value is delivered to the customer as quickly as possible.

 

Kanban is an agile entry point that while it does not challenge the culture it can be used to challenge the status quo. However, as an agile practice Kanban can be a cultural “change agent” and lead to Scrum and XP agile practices. Enterprise Architect offers a complete Agile Project Management foundation for the largest to the smallest of projects, supporting mainstream agile delivery frameworks and methods including, SCRUM, RUP, XP, DSDM and Kanban.

 

Kanban revolves around a visual board for managing work-in-progress and making work flow issues apparent through process definition based on how the work is handled in the team and on stakeholder priorities. A backlog is created in order to keep track of the work and as a basis for setting priorities. The cycle time of the tickets can be measured and used to keep track on improvements.

 

kanban three stage workflow sml kanban model patterns sml

 

Enterprise Architect has built-in Kanban diagrams and a number of pre-built workflow patterns that can be used 'as-is' or configured to suit any project or initiative. Because Enterprise Architect is also a sophisticated modeling platform for strategic and business analysis, architecture, design, implementation, testing and deployment, this Kanban facility becomes very powerful. Work items on a Kanban Board can be linked to strategic decisions, business rules, policies, requirements, architecture and design elements and every facility in the development lifecycle.

 

Agile planning is the assessment of the rate that agile teams can convert customer requirements into deployment ready software, while determining when they will be done. Burn down charts will provide these indicators. With Enterprise Architect burn down charts and time series graphs can be easily created and these are regularly and automatically updated by Enterprise Architect. A sophisticated charting facility is available to create powerful and expressive charts and dashboards, that will provide insights into the Kanban process and enable Product Owners and other team members to monitor performance and determine ways of fine tuning how the team works. There are a range of built-in charts, including bar, pie charts and heat maps, but a team is free to create any number of user-defined charts, which can also be incorporated into team processes and reviews.

 

As the affordable solution of choice for organisations who want to adopt Agile, including Kanban, Enterprise Architect 13 concantenates potentially siloed projects or sprints and provides assurance against the risk of segregation and ultimate fracturing of visibility across the enterprise, which can be caused by ad-hoc Agile initiatives.

 

In Enterprise Architect 13, Kanbans can be set at the individual level or project level in a shared model. With the 'My Kanban' feature, individual work can be tracked while the 'Project Kanban' option supports the team.

 

Projects of any size can benefit from the efficiencies of the flexible and integrated Kanban facility built into the Enterprise Architect core product. The Kanban features in Enterprise Architect are highly configurable and can be altered to suit any team or process, including agile, iterative and incremental, and even waterfall projects. This simple, yet powerful project management approach, creates a team collaboration platform that will result in products, services and solutions being delivered to customers with efficiency and in record time.

 

Webinar Recording: Introduction to Kanban and Heatmaps (using EA 12.1)

 

Workflow model patterns have been added, enabling the creation and linking of single or multiple stage Kanban workflows utilizing the Backlog, Iteration and Complete Kanban diagrams to support the existing “Standard type”. Together, these form powerful Kanban workflows, allowing the easy movement of Kanban elements between them. This movement provides the user with a view of the current team resources allocated to the Kanban element, enabling them to see what resource has been assigned, and completion status.

 

To assist with control of agile sprints, new menu items are available from the Construct Ribbon to search and find all Kanbans in a model. Kanban drawing style can be used showing Type, Status, Version, Priority, Bold Name, Stereotype, Phase, Author, and Truncate with name and Icon.

 

Work Items can be drawn with a compelling visual style, such as a colored card that can be dragged anywhere in the diagram to change order in a given lane, or from lane to lane, progressing from left to right through the board, representing progress towards value for the customer. The lanes are typically bound to the values of a 'project management aware' property such as status or phase, and as the item is dragged from lane to lane the value of the bound property is automatically changed. If a diagram is linked to a project management property, dragging an element from one lane to another automatically changes the value of the property, to the value that the lane represents.

 

To review Kanban features supported by Enterprise Architect 13. please visit:

Published in Sparx Insights
We invite you to join Ramsay Millar, globally recognized TOGAF® Practitioner who has successfully deployed TOGAF® practices and 21 architecture repositories across organizations using Sparx Enterprise Architect. 
 
Ramsay distinguishes himself as an industry leader with his in-depth experience and highly practiced background in enterprise architecture, consulting, training, and course authorship.
 
He has just released his newest ONLINE workshop, "Enterprise Architect for TOGAF Practitioners".
 
Published in News
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