Implementing an Enterprise Architecture function in different organisations: Governmental organisations (4/5)

Rob Kroese
Posted by Rob Kroese on Apr 10, 2012

Enterprise Architecture

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This article takes you about two minutes to read.

Setting up an Enterprise Architecture (EA) function in an organisation requires a structured approach which delivers results. In this series we give practical tips and guidelines in implementing EA in different types of organisations. In the previous postings we identified the main success factors for implementing EA in large multinationals and small local organisations.

In the next two postings we focus on the difference between governmental and commercial organisations. The organisation dynamics of these two types are quite different and therefore require also different EA implementation strategies.


Governmental organizations have the common characteristic that their main objective is not to make profit, but to execute law and regulations and serve the community. The result of this is that governmental organisations are often more bureaucratic and political organisations, where it is crucial to have formal power. Furthermore, governmental organizations have to cope with changes in law and regulations and other political developments.

Success factors

We list here the three main success factors for implementing EA in governmental organisations. Be aware that other characteristics of the organisation (size, maturity) are also important to consider, we focus here on the governmental nature of the organisation.

  • Use of reference models: Especially for governmental organisations, a lot of architecture reference models have been developed. Although those reference models are generic, they can certainly be used as solid starting point for implementing EA. As guidance for using reference models, the TOGAF Enterprise Continuum is a good mechanism. It explains how generic architecture models needs to be adapted and detailed to organization specific architectures.

Figure 1: TOGAF Enterprise Continuum

  • Governance: Because of the bureaucratic nature of governmental organisations, it is also for EA necessary to implement sufficient governance structures and procedures. Without those formal structures, chance is less that the EA will be created, used and maintained in the right way. One key element to implement is the architecture contract, which serves as a joint agreements between the EA function and projects who are going to implement (parts of) the architecture.
  • Architects with political skills: The third success factor is about the capabilities that (enterprise) architects themselves need in a governmental organisation. To implement EA in governmental organisations, decision power is required, and if you don’t have this in a formal way, you need political skills as an architect which enables you to influence the right people and get things done via the informal circuit.


In the next posting in this series we will give practical tips and guidance in implementing EA in commercial organisations. The organisation dynamics in a commercial organisation is quite different then the governmental organisation discussed in this posting.

Use the guidelines in this blog series to implement EA in your organisation, or contact us at if we can help you set up your EA strategy.

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