Monday, May 18, 2009

Enterprise Architecture as a Key Component

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Relationship to other disciplines
Enterprise architecture has become a key component of the information technology governance process in many organizations. These companies have implemented a formal enterprise architecture process as part of their IT management strategy.

While this may imply that enterprise architecture is closely tied to IT, it should be viewed in the broader context of business optimization in that it addresses business architecture, performance management and process architecture as well as more technical subjects.

Depending on the organization, enterprise architecture teams may also be responsible for some aspects of performance engineering, IT portfolio management and metadata management.

The following image from the 2006 FEA Practice Guidance of US OMB sheds light on the relationship between enterprise architecture and segment(BPR) or Solution architectures. (From this figure and a bit of thinking one can see that software architecture is truly a solution architecture discipline, for example.)

Activities such as software architecture, network architecture, database architecture may be seen as partial contributions to a solution architecture.

It is uncommon for a commercial organization to publish rich detail from their enterprise architecture descriptions. Doing so can provide competitors information on weaknesses and organizational flaws that could hinder the company's market position.

However, many government agencies around the world have begun to publish the architectural descriptions that they have developed. Good examples can be found at the US Department of the Interior[3], and the US Department of Defense business transformation agency

Enterprise Architecture

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Areas of Practice
Many enterprise architecture frameworks break down the practice of developing artifacts into four practice areas. This allows the enterprise to be described from four important viewpoints. By taking this approach, enterprise architects can assure their business stakeholders that they have provided sufficient information for effective decision making.

These practice areas are :

1. Business:

  • Strategy maps, goals, corporate policies, Operating Model
  • Functional decompositions (e.g. IDEF0, SADT), capabilities and organizational models
  • Business processes
  • Organization cycles, periods and timing
  • Suppliers of hardware, software, and services


  • Metadata - data that describes your enterprise data elements
  • Data models: conceptual, logical, and physical

3. Applications:

  • Application software inventories and diagrams
  • Interfaces between applications - that is: events, messages and data flows
  • Intranet, Extranet, Internet, eCommerce, EDI links with parties within and outside of the organization

4. Technology:

  • Hardware, platforms, and hosting: servers, and where they are kept
  • Local and wide area networks, Internet connectivity diagrams
  • Operating System
  • Infrastructure software: Application servers, DBMS
  • Programming Languages, etc..

Enterprise architecture

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The term enterprise architecture refers to many things. Like architecture in general, it can refer to a description, a process or a profession.

To some, "enterprise architecture" refers either to the structure of a business, or the documents and diagrams that describe that structure. To others, "enterprise architecture" refers to the business methods that seek to understand and document that structure. A third use of "enterprise architecture" is a reference to a business team that uses EA methods to produce architectural descriptions of the structure of an enterprise.

A formal definition of the structure of an enterprise comes from the MIT Center for Information Systems Research:

Enterprise Architecture is the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm’s operating model.[1]

It is often said that the architecture of an enterprise exists, whether it is described explicitly or not. This makes sense if you regard the architecture as existing in the system itself, rather than in a description of it. Certainly, the business practice of enterprise architecture has emerged to make the system structures explicit in abstract architecture descriptions. Practitioners are called "enterprise architects."

Enterprise architects use various business methods and tools to understand and document the structure of an enterprise. In doing so, they produce documents and models, together called artifacts. These artifacts describe the logical organization of business strategies, metrics, business capabilities, business processes, information resources, business systems, and networking infrastructure within the enterprise.

A complete collection of these artifacts, sufficient to describe the enterprise in useful ways, could be considered an ‘enterprise’ level architectural description, or an enterprise architecture, for short. This is the definition of enterprise architecture implied by the popular TOGAF architectural framework.

An enterprise architecture framework is a collection of tools, process models, and guidance used by architects to assist in the production of organization-specific architectural descriptions. See the related article on enterprise architecture frameworks for further information.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Industrial Management

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Industrial Management, in business, term used to describe the techniques and expertise of efficient organization, planning, direction, and control of the operations of a business.

In the theory of industrial management, organization has two principal aspects. One relates to the establishment of so-called lines of responsibility, drawn usually in the form of an organization chart that designates the executives of the business, from the president to the foreperson or department head, and specifies the functions for which they are responsible. The other principal aspect relates to the development of a staff of qualified executives.

Planning in industrial management has three principal aspects. One is the establishment of broad basic policies with respect to production; sales; the purchase of equipment, materials, and supplies; and accounting. The second aspect relates to the implementation of these policies by departments.

The third relates to the establishment of standards of work in all departments. Direction is concerned primarily with supervision and guidance by the executive in authority; in this connection a distinction is generally made between top management, which is essentially administrative in nature, and operative management, which is concerned with the direct execution of policy.

Control involves the use of records and reports to compare performance with the established standards for work.

Industrial management as just defined dates from the latter part of the 19th century. A notable impetus to its evolution was provided by the American engineer Frederick Taylor, who developed techniques for analyzing the operations involved in production and for setting standards for a day's work.

The techniques originally devised by Taylor were adapted by industrialists to other phases of business, including the employment of qualified workers, and wage incentive programs either to replace or to supplement the piecework system that had previously prevailed. Industrial management experts who succeeded Taylor have applied his techniques to a wider range of business problems.

Among the leading successors are the Austrian-American management consultant and educator Peter Drucker and the American economist, writer, and diplomat John Kenneth Galbraith.

articles to read:

I-O Psychology
Industrial-Organizational Psychology, application of various psychological techniques to the workplace and other organizations. Psychologists in this field advise businesses and organizations on a variety of subjects:

The selection and training of workers
How to promote efficient working conditions and techniques
How to boost employee morale
Productivity, and job satisfaction
The best ways to evaluate employee performance and create incentives that motivate workers
read the story..

related articles:

Avoiding Mistakes with Your Money
Be an Entrepreneur

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

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Industrial-Organizational Psychology (I-O psychology), application of various psychological techniques to the workplace and other organizations. Psychologists in this field advise businesses and organizations on a variety of subjects:

The selection and training of workers
How to promote efficient working conditions and techniques
How to boost employee morale
Productivity, and job satisfaction
The best ways to evaluate employee performance and create incentives that motivate workers

I-O psychology first became prominent during World War II (1939-1945), when it became necessary to recruit and train the large number of new workers who were needed to meet the expanding demands of industry.

The selection of workers for particular jobs is essentially a problem of discovering the special aptitudes and personality characteristics needed for the job and of devising tests to determine whether candidates have such aptitudes and characteristics. The development of tests of this kind has long been a field of psychological research.

Once the worker is on the job and has been trained, the fundamental aim of the I-O psychologist is to find ways in which a particular job can best be accomplished with a minimum of effort and a maximum of individual satisfaction. The psychologist's function, therefore, differs from that of the so-called efficiency expert, who places primary emphasis on increased production.

Psychological techniques used to lessen the effort involved in a given job include a detailed study of the motions required to do the job, the equipment used, and the conditions under which the job is performed. These conditions include ventilation, heating, lighting, noise, and anything else affecting the comfort or morale of the worker.

After making such a study, the I-O psychologist often determines that the job in question may be accomplished with less effort by changing the routine motions of the work itself, changing or moving the tools, improving the working conditions, or a combination of several of these methods.

Industrial-organizational psychologists have also studied the effects of fatigue on workers to determine the length of working time that yields the greatest productivity. In some cases such studies have proven that total production on particular jobs could be increased by reducing the number of working hours or by increasing the number of rest periods, or breaks, during the day.

I-O psychologists may also suggest less direct requirements for general improvement of job performance, such as establishing a better line of communication between employees and management.