Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: An Introduction

Every organization we’re talking to right now is, at some level, managing roadmap initiatives. We’ve seen countless organizations using Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel vying for continuity but struggling with maintenance and preservation. It’s been apparent for a while that roadmaps are an important viewpoint for various stakeholders in an organization; and the industry is slowly realizing that Roadmapping applies to both the business world and the IT world.

Why are roadmaps important?

Roadmaps are visuals that represent the future vision of facets of a business and/or its IT components. Roadmaps are an important concept when we look at planning. Whether that’s planning out our applications, business capabilities, processes or technology for any one of a number of reasons including:

  • Supplier Management
  • Application Portfolio Management
  • Technology Consolidation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Is Enterprise Architecture important?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) techniques provide a set of views that correspond to the business and IT infrastructure. EA provides the visuals (including Roadmaps) that allow a company to see where they are today and where they want to be in the future. ArchiMate® and TOGAF® are such enterprise architecture techniques.

Most business and IT stakeholders don’t even need to have an understanding of ArchiMate® or TOGAF® to analyse a roadmap that is produced by Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architecture is important however as it allows us to build roadmaps in a formal and structured manner. It enables us to roadmap in a repeatable fashion that is cost efficient, and blankets the entire business.

Roadmaps come in a number of forms including:

  • Strategic roadmaps
  • Lifecycle roadmaps
  • Technology and application roadmaps

These points are usually presented to stakeholders in PowerPoint or Excel. The people that manage these roadmaps will tell you what a chore it is to maintain them as the business changes. They often become stale and out of date and are seldom revisited.

To achieve a fully functioning roadmap, you need to embrace and automate your roadmap delivery. You still need to use the Microsoft Office tools to visualize your roadmaps. To truly, embrace Roadmapping as part of your Enterprise Architecture practice, you need to make sure TOGAF® and ArchiMate® are enhanced. This blog series will outline 3 specific areas of Roadmapping you should be focussing on to obtain and support a full Roadmapping capability:

1. Current versus Future State Architectures

In this post, we look at how to build roadmaps that represent the current state of the business and how future states are modelled.

2. Work packages and timelines

Part 2 is about producing work packages that represent pieces of work and how these tie to roadmaps to drive change.

3. Lifecycles and Heatmaps

Lastly, we look at the different lifecycles that components of our business and IT landscape journey through, and how we can ask analytical questions that help us make better business decisions.


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