>Five Pitfalls of Enterprise Architecture Review Boards

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EA Review Boards are necessary for supporting sound technology investment management decisions (a.k.a. CPIC or capital planning and investment control).

However, the EA Review Boards often fail for the following reasons:

  • The board has no power to enforce its decisions — this typically happens when the CIO does not control the IT funding in the organization.
  • The board has no visibility to the IT projects being initiated across the enterprise — again, this is common when the CIO does not control IT spending and programs can fund their own IT pet projects.
  • The board meetings are not well organized —this can happen when meetings are sporadic instead of regular, when meetings run over their scheduled times, when agendas are not followed, minutes not kept, and members are not given ample opportunity to participate and “be heard” in the meetings.
  • The board members do not understand the “what’s in it for me” — the members on the review board feel that they already have “day jobs” and that participating on the EA review board is not their responsibility or is not relevant to what they do day-to-day.
  • Board members lose interest over time — a pretty common symptom of this is when the members start “delegating” attendance and participation to less senior members of the organization (and those people may not have the same level of subject matter expertise or decision authority as the “official” members).

In User-centric EA, the focus of the EA reviews is on the stakeholders presenting their projects, on the members contributing to the reviews, and on both of these seeing that their participation results in better IT investment decisions and more successful projects for the enterprise.

Finally, the CIO through the Investment and EA Review Boards wields control over the allocations of funds and prioritization of technology investments.

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