I have just come from the 22nd Open Group EA Conference in London http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/ and survived my 1st presentation to the Open Goup. I was on edge all conference hoping that no one would be presenting similar material to mine. They did not and the Sustainable Enterprise Architecture http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/latham.htm remained my baby.

It has been good to have affirmation that Smart421′s EA http://www.smart421.com/solutions/consultancy/enterprise-architecture.asp proposition matches up to other’s best practices.

This conference was the launch of TOGAF 9, thankfully for my British reserve, not launched with great pomp and ceremony, nor with any Razzmatazz. A little Raz may well have re-enforced the significance of the achievement.

Judging from the mood of the delegates there is confidence in TOGAF 9 and agreement that it is solid as far as it goes.

TOGAF 9 has put on a lot of weight since it was 8, much of it valuable and not at all a middle aged spread into verbosity. Although covering TOGAF 9 at breakneck speed in a couple of presentations on the first full day was not necessarily the best use of conference time. It did show that at least 3 people know TOGAF 9 inside out – I am sure that all of the Open Group members who worked on it are as equally as knowledgeable.

Watch out for Archimate http://www.opengroup.org/archimate/downloads.htm – A meta model to describe Enterprise Architecture, you download the symbols for use in Visio, but to use it properly it needs to be installed in your modelling package. Archimate 2 is due out by the end of the year. I think that it will be a unstoppable force for architecture modelling in years to come.

There were a couple of recurring themes at the conference:-

The hole that is Business Architecture – As Tom Graves http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/graves.htm pointed out IT is less than 10% of expenditure and so by inference we are missing out on 90% of the market for architecture. The hole is being addressed by the Business Architecture working group, but progress is slow and there is much to be done. I want to encourage all knowledgeable practicing Business Architects to dive in a get it sorted.

Enterprise Architects need more soft skills. We are too geeky! This may also explain the lack of progress on the Business Architecture front as the non IT people can not bear to talk to us or as Paul Homan http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/homan.htm put it – they do not understand what we say and anyway we take too long to say it!

Some people were trying to extend the scope of TOGAF, Jason Uppal http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/uppal.htm talking about the 10 year lifecycle of architecture artefacts. Amit Bhagwat explored the relationship between leadership, time span of control and Enterprise Architecture.

On balance there was a lot of talk about theory and not much on the practical application of TOGAF. There is great need to publish practical EA experiences and best practices.
We have contributed to the EA community, thrown in our hat with a model for Sustainable EA. It was interesting that some other presentations were near to our offering of Sustainable Enterprise Architecture – Danny Greefhorst http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/greefhorst.htm talked about Just in Time architecture as part of his Pragmatic Architecture, Paul Homan talked about architecture becoming out of date quickly, if it if not used (Use it or Loose it I suppose) – Martin van den Berg http://www.opengroup.org/london2009-apc/van_den_berg_martin talked of the “Project Start Architecture” the EA Killer Application – But I think that the EA Killer app is the Project Start-up in the our Sustainable EA.