I am pleased to announce that MwK Solutions is an approved G-Cloud 9 supplier. See here for details.
I have had many great discussions with very well respected Enterprise Architects who are extremely passionate about Enterprise Architecture (EA), it's frameworks and the value proposition for EA. I have been party to debates about methods and approaches to modeling, agile EA, the relationships between EA and governance frameworks and service management frameworks, what artifacts belong to what domain, I could go on and on. It's all great stuff. It's intellectually stimulating and a great source of material when building an EA capability. If that is, you're an Enterprise Architect. For a CxO then probably not so much.
This is the same CxO who is likely to have an influence on the funding authority you need for your EA initiatives. The same CxO to whom you feel it's important to explain what EA is and why they need it. So here's the thing. Don't mention EA. Don't try to explain what it is. No matter how well you did in your elevator pitch exercise during your TOGAF training, don't pitch EA. It's not the CxO's world.
It's an old yet unbroken record that you need to demonstrate you are in tune with the business objectives of your board and that you have a plan to help them get there.
Show them that the plan involves a team of people that live and breath the business strategy. Demonstrate how these people will devise business solutions that create and measure business outcomes. Articulate that those outcomes will directly deliver the boards objectives.
Set the board on fire. Give examples of how this crack team will offer options with real delivery plans that innovate company products and services to accelerate competitive advantage and reduce costs. Any business owner or senior management is going to want some of that.
Ok, so we know doing that stuff in practice is hard. It's very easy for me to sit on a train writing about setting the board on fire but making that real isn't. Every business is different and how to instill passion in your board is a great challenge to have, and infinitely awesome to overcome. Remain mindful that the funding you need is likely to come from people who at best have heard of EA but aren't quite sure what it's for. That's because they're occupied with running their business. So sell the business partnership dream, not EA. Sell cooling, not the fridge.