Gartner EA Summit: Guide to Strategic Planning and Tools

In this talk, Richard Buchanan spoke for a long time on the tools that the business uses for strategic planning. Now, he’s talking about what EA’s need to do, because as he says, “EA is about strategic planning.” Tools he recommends includes product/service lifecycle management. Specifically, we need to model the definitive list of products or services the organization provides. This sounds a lot like Application Portfolio Management, and I would agree that not having that portfolio of IT “stuff” makes strategic planning very difficult. Another tools that he recommends is competitor analysis, which covers who the competitors are and how the organization competes with them. The next one is portfolio analysis, which is analogous to the Project Portfolio Management discussed in many of the AADI sessions. What are the major initiatives the organization is engaged in? Are there mergers and acquisitions in the pipeline?

The main takeaway from this for me is that a huge component of EA is analysis. I’ve always felt this, but given that many EA’s have grown out of the developer ranks and not the analyst ranks, myself included, we sometimes need to give ourselves a kick in the pants to do some of this work, rather than staying in our comfort zone of technology architecture and design.

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