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A new method_for_enterprise_architecture_assessment_and_decision-making_about

  1. 1. 2009 Fourth International Multi-Conference on Computing in the Global Information Technology A new Method for Enterprise Architecture Assessment and Decision-making about Improvement or Redesign Mehrshid Javanbakht Maryam Pourkamali MohammadReza Feizi Science and Research Branch Science and Research Branch Derakhshi Islamic Azad University Islamic Azad University Tabriz University Tehran, Iran Tehran, Iran Tabriz, Iran mehrshid-javanbakht@ieee.org m.pourkamali@ieee.org mfeizi@tabrizu.ac.ir Abstract— In the process of Enterprise Architecture Planning, As-Is architecture To-Be architecture the “As-Is” architecture is considered as baseline architecture, and target-architecture is designed on its basis. However, in some enterprises, particularly in developing countries, “as-is” architecture is not a suitable basis for creating target Mission & Goal Mission & Goal architecture. One method of improvement and correction of Business Process organizational architecture is using enterprise architecture Business Process &Function &Function maturity. In such cases, improvement efforts will not only fail to improve the procedures, but also consume time and Transition Information financial and human resources of the organization. That is Information plan why it is recommended to redesign the organizational Service Service architecture instead of organizational architecture improvement. In this paper, multifactor systems are used to Technology Technology provide a practical method for assessment of any given organization and making accurate decisions on improvement Figure 1. Important Component of Enterprise Architecture or redesign of its architecture based on missions, goals and restrictions of the organization. With the use of this method, Therefore, to design the transition plan there is a need to the enterprise architectures can be assessed and an accurate define the “to-be” conditions. However, one cannot decision about development of the enterprises can be made introduce any ideal “to-be” condition or a break point for based on its mission. improvement of organizational “to-be”. This is because once the “to-be” conditions are available; there might be a better Keywords-decision making; enterprise architecture; status available as well. This is why the enterprise improvement; redesigning; assessment architecture maturity was introduced. Here the “to-be” of organizational architecture is expressed in terms of I. INTRODUCTION enterprise architecture maturity. Thus there is no pause in Organizational architecture includes a full set of the correction and improvement of organizational information about its missions, goals, functions, services, architecture, and step-by-step guidelines are also available and technologies needed to fulfill its goals and missions. for improvement of organizational architecture. A diagram The main components of organizational architecture are “as- of this approach is demonstrated in Fig.2 [2][3]. is” architecture, “to-be” architecture, and the transition plan designed to convert the “as-is” to “to-be.” Fig. 1 presents an As-Is Ideal Ideal overall idea of these components and their interrelationships Architecture Situation ....Ideal SituationSituation [6]. “As-is” architecture is a set of documentations related to #1 #2 #n the functions, services, and technologies currently available at the organization. “To-be” architecture is a set of documentations about policies, strategies, and plans related Mapping to correction and development of enterprise architecture development. The transition plan is a plan that includes all … Level 1 Level 2 Level n activities and components necessary for the transition of “as-is” architecture to “to-be” architecture [4][5][6][7][8][9]. Figure 2. Enterprise Architecture Maturity Idea It is needed to point out that sometimes the “as-is” condition lacks the necessary capacity and power to play this role sufficiently. In such cases, improvement efforts are futile and redesign of organizational architecture is978-0-7695-3751-1/09 $25.00 © 2009 IEEE $26.00 69DOI 10.1109/ICCGI.2009.18
  2. 2. recommended. Therefore the question is how to measure the It is needed to note that federal enterprise architecturecapacities of the “as-is” conditions of a given organization reference models have been developed according to USin terms of its mission and goals and how to make decision federal organizations, with the goal of giving efficient andon its improvement or redesign. In many instances if a timely services to US citizens. That is why in this paper theprecise decision is not made, there will be possible risks of first step is to customize the federal enterprise architecturewaste of time, resources, and man force. Besides, selection reference models as required for general organizations. Aof the more important activities will enhance efficacy of the customized reference models is presented in Fig. 3 [1].time which is consumed. In this paper multifactor systemsare used to provide a practical method for assessing the Resource Managementconditions of any given organization and making accurate Human Resource Managementdecisions on improvement or redesign of its architecturebased on missions, goals and restrictions of the organization. Official ManagementAnother advantage of this method is the possibility of usingthe scores resulting from Cost-Benefit analysis and Supply chain Managementpossibility of making decision about planning and Information &Technology Managementscheduling of activities for development of enterprises more Figure 3. Sample of Customized Reference Modelaccurately. In this study, in order to validate the proposed method, a This is done through several case studies such as “Iransoftware tool was developed and five different case studies Statistics Center”, “Iran Ports Shipping Lines” and “Tehranwere performed. In this paper, the position of the method which is offered Water and Sewer” organizations.in the enterprise architecture planning is explained. Then the III. MULTI-AGENT ARCHITECTUREstructure of the multi–agent system which is designed forthe explained method is noted. First, a top-down method for One of the significant advantages of supporting decisiondetection and prioritization of the important elements of the making in intelligent and semi-intelligent systems is the useorganization is suggested. Then a bottom-up method for of multi-agent systems. These systems usually divide eachassessment of the enterprise architecture based on the problem into several sections and assign each section to anidentified scores is explained. In the end, the designed tool, agent for separate processing in a way that each agent can toand some case studies which were performed based on the use the results of calculations of other agents. This is a bigsuggested method, and the results are discussed. achievement in solving complex problems. An agent is an autonomous computerized system which has social features II. REFERENCE ARCHITECTURAL MODELS and the ability to analyze and react. A multi-agent system is Budget and time restrictions emerge a need for in fact a network of independent components workingprioritization of the development activities and selection of a interactively to solve a single problem. Defining the dutiessubset of them. Therefore in the process of enterprise and assigning each work section to one agent is done basedarchitecture planning there is a need to assess, prioritize, and on the capacities of agents. The final answer to any questionsequence the components of the given organization. Because is found through combining all solutions and computations.of this reasons there is a need to analyze all the components The proposed method uses multi-agent architecture asof the organization. Components of organizational stated above. A detailed explanation of the above method isarchitecture are plenty and diverse. This fact makes their presented in a multi-agent system. According to this sort ofanalysis a very complex process. One method to correctly architecture, the method is divided into 4 separate agentsclassify organizational information is to use reference and each of them may be divided into the following sub-models. Reference architecture is a detailed explanation of agents. These agents and sub-agents may be seen in Fig. 4.components and an overall view of the whole system. The four selected agents are explained below.Reference models work within organizational architecturenot only to introduce the necessary components of the A. Middleware Agentorganization, but also to give an estimate of their This agent has the duty to offer an interface to input andrelationships. The method presented here recognizes more transfer the information into un-concentrated knowledgesignificant components by using reference models. This is bases as needed by other agents. This interface must transferbecause they are considered to be standards of best the assessment and decision making results to the user asexperiences in the past. The federal enterprise architecture well. Some of the duties assigned to this agent are asframework considers a layered structure for the components follows:of organizational architecture. Since this applies to the • Acquisition of the basic information from referencemethod which is proposed here, reference models of FEAF models,(Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework) is used. In this • Acquisition of the project goals, this sectionpaper, the business reference model, the service reference completes the standards and facts of a multi-agentmodel, and the technology reference model will also be system,studied [10][11][12]. 70
  3. 3. • Acquisition of the rate of significance of each D. Knowledge Discovery and Management Agent option for the upper layers, This agent has the duty to update and maintain a • Acquisition of the information related to the rate of knowledge base related to decision making for the project each option in the three lower layers, status. In this study, comparison of the given project with • Input of neighborhood radius information and other successful and unsuccessful projects of the past was proximity percents and learning rates in the “nearest done to recognize the project status. This required storage neighborhood” algorithm [13]. and updating the information from past projects in a new knowledge base, and addition of the new project to the list Some of the items given to the user as outputs of these of best practices or failed projects based on the statussystems are: detected for it. Management of this knowledge base is the • Displaying the level of significance of each item for duty of this agent. It automatically adds the information of the organization to promote its mission and goals, new projects to the system based on the status detected for • Displaying the scores resulting from organizational them, providing the system with self-learning features. assessment, Moreover, this agent performs parts of its duties by using • Displaying the project status through “nearest the information received by the middleware agent. neighborhood” method in real-time graphic format, • Displaying the project status in text format by using threshold method, • Reporting the results of calculations and system decisions specifically or generally and based on chosen seeding of the user, • Displaying the chosen project based on TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) method [14][15], • Displaying the proposed components for implementation.B. Rule Comparison Agent This agent has the duty to draw relational matrices. Ithas to connect each item on each layer to the items on theupper layers. Any mistake in drawing internal matrices willdistort the assessment results. Moreover, this agent controlsthe sum of scores and normalizes them according to a scoreof 100 while the value of each item for the organization orthe upper layer is entered. To do so, the agent dynamicallychecks the information being entered and alerts the userabout the scores left to 100 and in case of a mistake ininputted information, it prevents that information from beingstored and asks the user to correct the mistake. This is ofutmost significance for such wide knowledge bases.C. Dynamic Analytical Agent This one assesses the analytical and decision makingcore of the system and consists of the following sub-agents: • Autonomous agent of top-down procedure, • Autonomous agent of bottom-up procedure using the output of lowest layer agent in top-down agents, • Agent of Statistical threshold analysis, • Agent of analysis of the “nearest neighborhood” Figure 4 . Architecture used in multi-agent system network, • Agent of analysis of the TOPSIS, Thus the projects entering the knowledge base may not be • Agent of the cost-benefit analysis. assessed by the current system, or they may have been assessed previously by manual or intuitional methods. In The architecture used to connect the sub-agents of this such cases a section of the user interface agent provides aagent is presented in Fig. 4. chance for entering the information of already-assessed projects. On the other hand, another duty of this agent is to perform the following tasks if necessary: 71
  4. 4. • Acquisition of the base information from reference transition of organizational architecture, but also prioritize models, them. This is a top-down method. The selected levels are: • Acquisition of the project goals, • Objective • Acquisition of the rate of significance of each item • Goal for upper layers, • Function • Acquisition of the relationship designed by the rule • Service interpreting agent, • Technology • Acquisition of the information related to The overall idea of the levels considered in this method can determining the rate of meeting of each item on the be seen in Fig. 5. three lower layers, • Acquisition of the data related to neighborhood radius and proximity percent and learning rate in the “nearest neighborhood” algorithm. IV. ASSESSMENT AND DECISION MAKING METHOD OF ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE The proposed method dynamically adapts itsassessments according to the missions, goals, opportunities,and threats of the organization. Thus, any organizationalarchitecture is assessed in terms of its own missions and Figure 5 . Layers of the methodduties. The method may be divided into several phases asfollows: The objectives and goals are determined by detection of • Customization of reference models for general the points needed to achieve the mission of organizations organizations by using case studies, and restrictions such as risks and budget or time limitations. • Use of a layer model to recognize the relationships At the highest level, the senior managers of any organization between layers of organizational architecture, choose the objectives according to mission of the given • Taking a top-down approach to prioritizing organization and prioritize the significance of each objective implementation of different components of by giving them special scores. The total of significance organizational architecture and related activities, scores of all objectives related to a given project must equal • Taking a bottom-up approach towards assessment of 100. When disclosing the scores at goal level one must organizational architecture, recognize to which objective they relate. The score is given • Computations and calculations related to the cost- to each goal according to the objective to which it relates. benefit analysis, This can be seen in Fig. 6 and (1). • Decision making and choice between improvement or redesign of organizational architecture. The method offered here first uses a top-down approachto identify and detect the more significant components of theenterprise architecture and activities related to theirimplementation. It proceeds to a bottom-up approach toassess the enterprise architecture according to the level of Figure 6 . Scored Objective-Goal matrixsignificance of each component based on organizationalgoals and missions. In fact the bottom-up approach uses theresults of the top-down. In this method hierarchy levels are n Score − of − each − Goal = ∑ (Gi × Fi ) (1)used to disperse the scores. 1 V. METHOD OF PRIORITIZING ENTERPRISE In (1), Gi is the score related to objectives for which the goal ARCHITECTURE DEVELOPING PROCESSES in question will be helpful. n is number of objectives related One of the most important issues related to to each goal. To score the goal layer, since each objectiveorganizational architecture is designing a transition plan consists of a number of goals and a given goal may be morebased on its missions and goals. One issue here is that important towards promotion of an objective, a certaindesigning the transition plan is totally dependent on the degree of significance is assigned to each goal for. Fi is thesystem for which it is designed. As a result, one cannot offer score related to the significance of each goal for the relateda general plan to enhance all activities related to objective. The sum of significance degrees of all goalsimprovement of organizational architecture. The proposed related to one objective must equal 100.method may not only recognize activities related to At lower levels, each function should be studied to identify what goal it is related so that the score can be 72
  5. 5. determined. Using the Fig. 7 and (2), each function is scoredsimilar to the goal level. n (4) Score − of − each − Technolog y = ∑ ( M i × Fi ) 1 The component with the highest score will receive the highest degree of significance. It is obvious that activities related to implementation of components with higher scores will be assigned a higher priority and are more recommended. Normalization of the calculations has been Figure 7 . Scored Goal-Function matrix approved in previous studies [1][2]. Since in any organization there are restrictions of time and budget that prevent implementation of all recognized n (2) components, in many cases there is no choice but to Score − of − each − Function = ∑ ( H i × Fi ) implement a subset of required components. A cost-benefit 1 analysis can be done by the use of the results ofTo the function in question, Fi is the score related to prioritization.significance of each function for the given goal. The sum of In the design of objectives and functions layer, issues like risk and time consumption reduction and functionssignificance degrees of all functions related to one goal must related to each one are considered. In fact, these issues areequal 100. Hi relates to the score of each goal which considered in the cost-benefit formula under the benefits infunction will be useful for its promotion. n is number of the process of score dispersion. Equation (5) may be usedgoals related to each function. for this purpose where Benefiti is the score given to ith Finally the score given to each service is calculated component, and Costi is the cost related to the iththrough the Fig. 8 and (3) in which Bi is the score related to component. Furthermore, with rougher seeding one can useeach function and Fi is the score related significance of each the cost-benefit analysis for the projects proposed byservice for related function. The sum of significance degrees different stakeholders. Equation (5) may be used to this end.of all services related to one function must equal 100. The component or project with the lowest CBA (Cost- Benefit Analysis) value will gain the highest priority for implementation [2]. Cost i (5) CBAi = ( Benefit i ) This sort of analysis may be done in higher levels with the Figure 8 . Scored Function-Service matrix same logic. The same formula may be used for the cost- benefit analysis of each project. Using (6) enables us to make decisions about investment in architecture n (3) development activities, where m is the number of Score − of − each − Service = ∑ ( Bi × Fi ) 1 component related to project K. Using the cost-benefit analysis, those projects with lowest CBA are recognized asAs shown in Fig. 9 and (4), the same applies to the better choices for implementation.technology where Mi is the score of related service, n isnumber of services related to each technology, and Fi is the m ⎡ Costi ⎤ (6) CBA(Project) K = ∑ ⎢ ⎥degree of significance of each technology for that service. 1 ⎣ Benefiti ⎦ j VI. METHOD FOR ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ASSESSMENT After recognition of the degree of significance of components in enterprise architecture development, comes the assessment procedure according to the significance Figure 9 . Scored Service-Technology matrix degree of each component. To do so, a bottom-up method was used. First the degree of realization of each technology must be determined in terms of percent. Several formulas have been offered in the documentation accompanying this paper which may be used to calculate this degree. Thus the 73
  6. 6. score related to higher node, is calculated through theFig. 10 and (7). n (9) ∑ ( BScorei × Bi) GLScore = 1 n The score related to each objective is calculated according to the Fig. 13 and (10), where GIScore is the score related to each objective, Gi is the significance of each goal for the parent node, GLScorei is the score given to each goal, and n Figure 10 . Dispersion of score for each service is the number of goal related to each objective. n (7) ∑ ( MScorei × Mi) FScore = [ 1 + S1] / 2 nThe score of each service may be calculated by (7) whereFscore is related to each service, Mscorei is related to each Figure 13 . Dispersion of score for each Objectivetechnology, Mi is the degree of significance of eachtechnology in promotion of the parent node service, n is thenumber of technology related to each service and S1 is the n (10)quality percentage of each service. This process is repeated ∑ (GLscorei × Gi)for calculation of scores given to function. GIScore = 1 The score related to each function is calculated by the nFig. 11 and (8), where Bscore is for each function, Fi is thesignificance of each service for the parent node, FScorei is The rate of influence of each objective may be calculatedthe score given to each service, n is the number of services through (10). The calculated value must approximatelyrelated to each given function, and S2 is quality percentage equal the rate of significance assigned to objectives at theof each function. beginning of top-down calculations. Finally, the score related to the whole Project may be calculated from (11), where Project-score is the score given to the whole project and n is the number of objectives which is defined. n (11) ∑ GIMScorei Pr oject − Score = 1 n Figure 11 . Dispersion of score for each Function As the scores are expressed in percent, one can easily determine what percent of the mission of enterprise has been n (8) ∑ ( FScorei × Fi) fulfilled. BScore = [ 1 + S 2] / 2 n VII. HOW TO MAKE DECISION ABOUT IMPROVEMENT OR REDESIGN OF ENTERPRISE ARRCHITECTURE The score related to each goal is calculated according to Three decision making methods were used to make athe Fig. 12 and (9), where GLScore is the score related to choice between improvement and redesign of architecture:each goal, Bi is the significance of each function for theparent node, BScorei is the score given to each function, and • statistical samplingn is the number of functions related to each goal. • nearest neighborhood method • TOPSIS method The first method uses the experiences of previous successful projects and statistical information gathering and sampling methods to calculate the approximate threshold. If the score obtained by the project is higher than the threshold, the enterprise architecture will be benefit from improvement. Otherwise, it is recommended to be Figure 12 . Dispersion of score for each Goal redesigned. 74
  7. 7. The second method uses the “nearest neighborhood”strategy to import scoring results of previous successfulprojects into the network and eventually studies and reportson the network conditions based on project interruptionpoints. For this purpose, the learning rate was taken at 0.1,neighborhood radius was taken as 2, and neighborhoodradius decrement was taken as 0.999. Two variables x and ywere taken as the score of each project and the costs of itsimprovement [13]. The third method, TOPSIS, is a multiple indicatordecision making method which works based on distances tothe best and worst projects [14][15]. One of the most important advantages of this method isthe ability to sequence the choices. This method is morenormalized than “nearest neighborhood” method. In thismethod the matrix demonstrated in table 1 was used. In thistable, 5 parameters are used. im shows the improvementchoice and rd shows the redesign choice, and n shows the nthcontractor. As shown in table 1, based on cases which are Figure 14 . Interface for presenting the results of prioritizationmore important for enterprises, the projects which are mostpreferred by the enterprise are sequenced. Based on the firstproject in sorted list of preferences, improvement orredesign of the architecture was chosen. TABLE I. NORMALIZED WEIGHTED MATRIX Contractor Score Cost Time Person number Contractor(1,im) Contractor(1,rd) … Contractor(n,rd) VIII. CASE STUDY For the case studies, the information available in the realprojects of “Iran Statistics Center”, “Iran Ports and ShippingLines”, “Tehran Water and Sewer” Organizations and twohospitals in Tehran was entered as input into the system.This was accompanied by reasonable results in full harmony Figure 15 . User interface displaying the project status based on “nearestwith intuitive observations of senior managers. The results neighborhood” networkof each of the three methods enriched the correctness of thepresented assessment method. A tool for the case study was created which is capable ofstoring the information related to the enterprise architecture,handling the calculations related to the assessmentautomatically, and reporting the results. This architecture isdemonstrated in Fig. 4. This tool consists of the followingsections: • Input of basic information (such as all the data related to function, service, and technology), • Information input section of each project, • Determination of the significance of each component based on selected seeding levels, • Report of the conditions of a project based on the “nearest neighborhood” method, threshold was defined based on statistical data gathering, and TOPSIS method.Schemas of some tool intermediates is demonstrated in Fig. Figure 16 . User interface displaying the project status based on the14, 15, 16 and 17. threshold obtained from statistical data gathering 75
  8. 8. REFERENCES [1] Mehrshid Javanbakht, “A new method for enterprise architecture assessment”, Thesis of MSc, Computer Engineering Department,, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, 2006. [2] Mehrshid Javanbakht ,”A New Method for Decision Making and Planning in Enterprises”, IEEE, International Conference on Information & Communication Technologies: From theory to Applications , Aprill 2008. [3] M. Ahern Dennis, Clourse Aaron, and Turner Richard.“CMMI Distilled., A practical guide to integrated process improvement”, Second edition,Addison Wesley, Part1, September 23 2003. [4] Blueprint Technologies., “Best practice approach to enterprise architecture”, 8618 Westwood Center Suite. 310, Vienna, VA 22182, United States. 2. NASA-ESDIS, Bldg 32, Rm S224C Mail Code 423.2004. [5] Jaap Schekkerman,B.Sc., ”Enterprise architecture source card”, Institute for enterprise architecture development, 2004. [6] Chief information Officer Council A Practical guide to federal enterprise architecture, Version 1.0. February 2001. [7] EA Practice team., ”Enterprise Architecture Transition Plan, Version 1.0”, Volume 1, July 29 2005. [8] Spwak Steven Hill., “Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Figure 17. User interface displaying sorted projects based on TOPSIS blueprint for Data, Applications, & Technology”, John Willey & Sons, method September 1993. [9] .,”Enterprise architecture development Tool-Kit v 3.0”, National association of state chief information officer,82126. October 2004..Structure of this tool is the same as the Multi-agent structure [10] “The business Reference Model Version 2.1”, The federal Enterprisedemonstrated in Section 3. Architecture Program Management Office, June 2005. [11] “The component reference model(SRM) version 1.0”, The federal IX. CONCLUSION Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, Feb 2005. [12] “FEA reference model mapping quick guide, version 2.3”, The Using the results of this paper, a method was suggested federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, agust 2008.that may be used as a complementary factor in assessment [13] Gregory Shakhnarovich, Trevor Darrell, and Piotr Indyk, “Nearest-of organizational architecture. Use of this method enhances Neighbor Methods in Learning and Vision: Theory and Practice”, Thethe possibility of assessment of organizational architecture MIT Press, March 31, 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0262195478 [14] E. Triantaphyllou, “Multi-Criteria Decision Making Methods: Abased on missions, goals, opportunities, and threats of the comparative Study”, Springer, November 2000, ISBN-13: 978-organization. Having such a tool one can compare different 0792366072organizations quantitatively and according to their rate of [15] K . Paul Yoon, and Ching-Lai Hwang, “Multiple Attribute Decisionmeeting special goals and objectives. Making An Introduction”, Sage Publications, January 1995, ISBN-13: One obstacle which is faced by many systems is that in 978-0803954861many cases the qualitative level of organizationalarchitecture is so low that its improvement will be too costlyand there is no choice but to redesign the whole architecture.By the use of the method which is conjectured in this paper,one is enabled to assess the enterprise architecture and makemore accurate decisions on improvement or redesign of theorganizational architecture. This is a very important decisionin reducing the costs, risks, and time in development orimprovement activities. Another advantage of this method is the possibility ofusing the scores resulted in Cost-Benefit analysis andpossibility for decision making for planning and schedulingof activities for development of enterprises. Among the development fields available to the proposedmethod, is the development and higher accuracy of the listof reference models. Other fields related to this issue includefinding a more accurate neighborhood function for theimplemented “nearest neighborhood” network. Moreover,ontology of reference models can be used to fully automatethe rule interpreting agent. 76