Implementing an Enterprise Architecture function in different organisations: Small local organizations (3/5)

Rob Kroese
Posted by Rob Kroese on Mar 12, 2012

Enterprise Architecture

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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 posting we identified the main success factors for implementing EA in large multinationals. In this posting we focus on implementing EA in small local organisations. These organisations are quite different then large multinationals and require a different approach to implement EA.


Small local organisations are characterised by a number of employees between 500-800, for example mid side governmental organisations, small educational institutions or mid size commercial organisations. Often the complexity of such an organisation is less, but there are also limited resources available for setting up the EA function. Implementing EA in these kind of organisations requires a practical approach which delivers results fast.

Success factors

The main success factors for implementing a successful EA function in small local organisations are:

  • Quick start
    It is important to get results quickly, otherwise the momentum will be lost for EA, and people start feeling that EA is not adding any value. You can achieve quick results by using a pragmatic approach. A complete TOGAF implementation for example, is way too comprehensive for this environment. It is better is to select a couple of key elements of EA you want to implement. Note: the TOGAF Framework is still very useful, but you have to scope it down. Typically these elements are: get a good insight in the current business and/or application landscape, get a view on main strategic developments for the coming year and realize a translation of this strategy in a description of a target business and/or application architecture. The infrastructure aspect is in most small organisations of less priority, because of outsourcing.
  • Show added value to projects
    The second success factor is to realize as soon as possible a contribution of EA to new (or running) projects. In projects there is often need for insight in the current and future architecture landscape, and this is where EA can add value. Also, in small organisations it is more easy to get connected to projects, because there are less formal project governance structures.
  • Focus on key developments
    Because of limited resources that are available in small organisations to implement EA, it is important to focus on key developments in the organisation, for the next one or two years. If you as EA function contribute to this developments by advising about implementation strategy for example, you immediately realize added value which is visible.

To summarize, in small organisations it is essential to deliver the needed EA results fast. Therefore: think big, start small and deliver value immediately!


In the next two postings in this series we will give practical tips and guidance in implementing EA in governmental and commercial organisations. The organisation dynamics in these two markets are quite different and influence the EA implementation strategy which is best to follow.

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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