Prince Sultan University
Department of Information Sciences
IS321 ? Enterprise Architecture
Case Study: Scene 2
Case Study: Danforth Manufacturing Company
Scene 2: Considering an EA Program
Robert Danforth, the President and CEO of DMC, has called a follow-on meeting of the Executive Committee to review several recent capital investment requests and the suggestion to use an enterprise architecture approach to evaluate these requests and coordinate potential implementation projects. COO Kate Jarvis has requested a new custom Sales and Inventory Tracking System (SITS), and CFO Jim Gorman, has requested a new cost accounting system that is part of a commercial software package. Also invited to the meeting is CIO Sam Young, who joined the company one month ago, and who is giving a briefing on how enterprise architecture can help in this review.
Good morning everyone? said Robert. I?m eager to hear what you have to say about the architecture initiative. Sam, why don?t you lead off, and then let?s hear from Kate and Jim.?
Thank you Robert? said Sam as he handed out an 8-page document entitled DMC Enterprise Architecture Plan ? Financial and Production Segments. Kate, Jim, and I have spent a good deal of time together during the last two weeks and I believe that we have found several interesting things about their requirements and how an architecture approach can save us money and provide a more valuable long-term solution. We formed a working group to do the analysis and included an experienced enterprise architect and a senior systems analyst who I know from some past work, as well as several managers and staff from Kate and Jim?s groups, including two sales representatives from the field. The architect, Vince Albright, provided some background on what enterprise architecture is all about and how to document and evaluate current and future views of resources and requirements. With that, the group documented the current business services and associated IT resources that might be replaced or modified by Kate?s and Jim?s proposals. Then, the group documented Kate?s and Jim?s requirements from a business process perspective and looked for areas of commonality or duplication. Finally, Vince and the systems analyst, Lily Jefferson, led the group in a scenario planning exercise that developed two plausible business and technology solutions that meet both of their requirements in an integrated manner. Either of these integrated solutions look to be less expensive to implement than it will be to do Jim?s and Kate?s systems independently.?
Jim then spoke to the group. I was really impressed with what the group did in only two weeks. Sam is right about looking at these types of requirements from an architecture perspective. What I realized is that my back office support systems can have more types of direct feeds of information from Kate? s line of business systems. In fact, the more we do this, the more timely and accurate the information across the company will be. The big thing here is that we eventually need to look at all of our business and technology requirements from a company-wide standpoint so that we can start to integrate and streamline our processes and capabilities. ?
Kate then spoke. I agree with Jim that this was an eye-opener. There are flows of information between Jim?s financial group and my business managers, but these flows and the supporting systems have been developed independently with no overarching plan in mind. Sam and his associates showed me an architecture approach and implementation process that can be completed for our respective areas within the next two months and then be used to guide the implementation of a solution that I believe will meet my requirements and those that Jim has as well. This is a win-win that can lead to more of the same. Even the sales reps were getting into the game, and provided a couple of ideas about automatically pushing sales and inventory data to them that I had not considered. I am recommending that we go with this approach to refine and select a solution so that I don?t lose any more time on my competition.?
Gerald leaned forward and looked at Sam. Sam, I remember you saying that enterprise architecture links strategy, business, and technology. I am not hearing about strategy ?. was that left out?? Good question Gerald? responded Sam. We did not go too much into company strategy because of the two-week timeframe for developing the initial architecture plan. However, that is an area that we will have to quickly address if the architecture plan for these two segments is approved for implementation. The way that I would pursue this is to identify DMC?s strategic goals that relate to Kate and Jim?s requirements, and ensure that the solutions align with the accomplishment of those goals. For example, I see that the company will be opening a new custom order line of business next year that builds on what we are doing on an ad-hoc basis right now. I would want to see if the solution for Kate and Jim?s requirements could also be able to support similar requirements for the custom order business.?
Robert then spoke. I always want to talk about value and risk before approving any project. I am seeing value through cost savings and potential scalability of the solution. So, what is the cost of doing these segments and then the whole architecture? And, what are the risks and how do we mitigate those risks??
The cost of doing a complete and detailed architecture for a mid-size company like DMC may be considerable? said Sam. And I therefore recommend this type of segmented approach to developing a companywide architecture, where we take one line of business at a time. In the plan we developed, you will see that the cost for the first two segments is $105,000, which covers analysis, modeling, documentation, and an EA tool. There is also an $11,600 cost for documenting and applying the general architecture methodology, framework, and standards, that is largely reused in subsequent segment efforts. The analysis of these two segments should take two to three weeks, and depending on which of the two solutions is selected, the supporting documentation will take another month. So this plan delays Jim and Kate approximately two months, but saves the company well over the $121,600 cost if a combined solution is adopted.?
Sam continued. By having a standardized architecture approach, we ensure alignment in each completed segment and can also use it to guide each new development and upgrade projects throughout the company, so that architecture alignment occurs much more quickly. This approach is also a risk mitigation strategy, in that we are spreading out the cost and effort over time, involving stakeholders in the development of each segment, and incorporating lessons learned from each segment effort. Two of the most important success factors for doing an enterprise architecture are the strong support of executive leadership, and buy-in from stakeholders. If you see value in having an architecture, and have a say in how it affects you, then the architecture can become a powerful planning and decision-making tool for DMC.?
Robert thought for a moment about what Sam had said and then addressed the group. I am inclined to approve the plan to develop a standardized architecture approach and these first two segments, are there any objections?? There were no other comments. Ok Sam, let?s proceed with the plan and get together every two weeks for a progress report.?
What approach did they recommend?
Who compromised the workforce?
What was the structure of the old system?
What is the importance of strategic stage?
How are the value and risk valued? Also identify some the risks that DMC can faced.
What overall benefits of EA are mentioned in the case study?
What do you think are the critical assets of this company? List separately for each layer of enterprise architecture along with justification
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