erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Change Management: Enterprise Architecture for Managing Change

As organization’s technologies and digital strategies mature, enterprise architecture for change management is becoming increasingly relevant. 

Enterprise architecture’s holistic view of the organization is perfect for understanding how an organization’s assets are interconnected. 

This understanding is crucial when an organization is looking to change from within. But it is perhaps even more crucial still, when external factors and disruption force an organization into change.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …

Organizations in every industry are navigating digital transformation, so change management is an important element to consider as part of those efforts.

And organizations that embrace change often achieve greater success.

Whether in the early stages of implementing a digital strategy or in the midst of a new technology deployment, change management plays a crucial role.

What Is Change Management?

Change management describes the process(es) an organization will undertake to ensure changes to business operations, systems and other assets cause as little disruption as possible.

For example, a change in systems might require employees to be retrained, taking them away from more immediate, value-creating tasks.

A systems change also could disrupt business operations more directly – if it turns out a new system is incompatible with the current technology infrastructure.

Why Is Change Management Important?

Organizations are faced with constant change. Even industries historically resistant to it, such as financial services and healthcare, are now transforming proactively and at a rapid rate.

Successfully implementing and managing any change, but especially those involving technology, requires an understanding of how it will impact the business – particularly when there are impacts outside the intended goal.

While good ideas help a business grow, sometimes their implementations cause stumbles. Most often that’s because there’s a disconnect between an innovative idea and how it becomes reality.

Such disconnects result in redundant technology and processes, inefficient use of resources, and/or missed opportunities.

With effective change management, organizations usually realize faster implementations and lower costs. An organization with a better understanding of a proposed change is less likely to run into the problems that can derail new initiatives.

Smart change management also can help organizations future-proof their operations, anticipating issues such as systems becoming redundant or outdated earlier than expected.

Change Management and Enterprise Architecture

In large organizations, enterprise architecture (EA) has long been recognized as an effective mechanism for change management. It facilitates an organization’s efforts in assessing the impact of change and making recommendations for target states that support business objectives.

New solution architectures also are being used to successfully assess solution alternatives to support these target states.

EA often delivers the business use cases that justify the incorporation of ideas into operations. However, organizations may find its success limited if the EA function continues to operate in an ivory tower.

Historically, the EA group often has been disconnected from business stakeholders as well as the IT project teams assigned to deliver the solution. This disconnect can lead to the EA team suffering from a lack of commitment from the wider organization and thus their recommendations are ignored.

As a result, ideas are adopted without rigorous scrutiny, including the impacts of their execution and potential ripple effects on other projects.

What’s needed is an integrated approach that marries the EA team’s knowledge with a process for managing ideas and innovation.

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Using Enterprise Architecture to Manage Ideation Through Implementation

A strategic planning approach – from assessment and impact and investment analysis through delivery – ensures ideas are captured, analyzed and shared in a structured process.

Feedback is provided to the originator, and the right stakeholders are involved in making the right decisions about IT projects based on sound business cases. Then both communities feel empowered to make changes.

An integrated, strategic planning environment brings a federated view of information from across the organization so that it can be shared. It helps organizations analyze and prioritize ideas, feed them into EA for analysis, and compile a business case.

With all stakeholders reviewing information and providing feedback on proposed projects, everyone can understand how the new ideas fit into the corporate strategy and have a voice in systematically managing the changes.

Plus they can be executed in near real time, allowing the organization to react quickly to seize market advantage.

Organizations looking to adopt such an approach to change management would benefit from an enterprise architecture tool.

erwin Evolve is one such enterprise architecture tool and a solution addressing both enterprise architecture and business process modeling and analysis use cases.

Users employ erwin Evolve to effectively tame complexity, manage change and increase operational efficiency. Its many benefits include:

  • Creation & Visualization of Complex Models: Harmonize EA/BP modeling capabilities for greater visibility, control and intelligence in managing any use case.
  • Powerful Analysis: Quickly and easily explore model elements, links and dependencies, plus identify and understand the impact of changes through intuitive impact analysis.
  • Documentation & Knowledge Retention: Capture, document and publish information for key business functions to increase employee education and awareness and maintain institutional knowledge, including standard operating procedures.
  • Democratization & Decision-Making: Break down organizational silos and facilitate enterprise collaboration among those both in IT and business roles for more informed decisions that drive successful outcomes.
  • Agility & Efficiency: Achieve faster time to actionable insights and value with integrated views across initiatives to understand and focus on business outcomes.
  • Lower Risks & Costs: Improve performance and profitability with harmonized, optimized and visible processes to enhance training and lower IT costs.

Recent enhancements include web-based diagramming for non-IT users, stronger document generation and analytics, TOGAF support, improved modeling and navigation through inferred relationships, new API extensions, and modular packaging so customers can choose the components that best meet their needs.

Try erwin Evolve now with a free, cloud-based trial – your work will be saved and carried over when you buy.

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