Working under architecture also means knowing the past

You don't remodel a house without a good plan. Whoever chooses an extension makes sure that its appearance matches the design of the house. And before the actual rebuilding begins, the contractor checks where water and electricity run, and whether any load-bearing walls will be demolished.

Enterprise Architecture 
Mapping your architecture

As logical as this way of working sounds, when changing business operations and IT, organizations often take a less meticulous approach. Many organizations only focus on the future when making changes: they design a solution that meets their needs, but do not consider the impact of this on the rest of the business. In other words, they forget to check where water and electricity run, and whether they are demolishing any load-bearing walls. 

Yet even these organizations claim to be working "under architecture. After all, they have designed the change based on their principles and frameworks .. 

Of course it is important to design from principles and frameworks, but working under architecture also means that you know the current situation through and through so that you can determine the impact of the change. In short, you want to know the dependencies between processes and applications, for example. You can do this by creating a schematic representation of the current situation. Modeling conventions such as ArchiMate provide a solution for this. 

Indeed, from a schematic representation you can perform analyses relatively easily, such as a problem analysis. This creates a good picture of the context under which you are going to implement the change. Even before you determine whether the solution meets the principles and frameworks. This ensures that the solution direction offered actually contributes to achieving your objectives 

After determining the solution direction, you can perform impact and risk analyses based on these views. By doing so, you will map out the impact of the change and ensure that it does not affect the current situation. For example, it won't escape your attention that other business units are also using the application to be replaced. Or that you overlooked links to the application to be replaced that needed to be maintained. Now you are creating a well-planned rebuild. 

Mapping and capturing your current architecture ensures that you can perform these analyses quickly and groundedly. This prevents surprises during the execution of projects, saving a lot of time, energy and costs. Both the client and the architect therefore benefit. However, the client must want it and the architect must be able to do it! 

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