Managing Organisational Change with Enterprise Architecture

The Role of the Enterprise Architect

As key change agents, Enterprise Architects are often critical in the success of organisational change, working closely with all areas of the businesses and IT to produce ‘As-Is’ architectures, developing ‘To-Be’ architectures and any intermediate transition architectures.

Enterprise Architects need to combine architecture and domain knowledge with other skills such as leadership, persuasion, negotiation, communication and the ability to ‘Sell’ the value of particular options to sponsors and key stakeholder so that their ‘shared’ vision can be realised.

Change Management

The Open Groups ‘TOGAF’  (Phase H: Architecture Change Management) and some other Enterprise Architecture (EA) frameworks include change management

TOGAF provides a comprehensive Change Management and describes it’s approach as:

“The goal of an architecture change management process is to ensure that the architecture achieves its original target business value. This includes managing changes to the architecture in a cohesive and architected way.

This process will typically provide for the continual monitoring of such things as governance requests, new developments in technology, and changes in the business environment. When changes are identified, change management will determine whether to formally initiate a new architecture evolution cycle.

Additionally, the architecture change management process aims to establish and support the implemented enterprise architecture as a dynamic architecture; that is, one having the flexibility to evolve rapidly in response to changes in the technology and business environment.

Monitoring business growth and decline is a critical aspect of this phase. Usage of the enterprise architecture is the most important part of the architecture development cycle. All too often the business has been left with an enterprise architecture that works for the organization of yesterday but may not give back sufficient capability to meet the needs of the enterprise of today and tomorrow.”

JP Kotter, a professor from the Harvard Business School, is a world-renowned leadership and organisation change expert

In his 1995 book ‘Leading Change’, John introduced us to his Change Management process framework and the now famous concept of the ‘Burning Platform’.

His framework identified 8 steps to successful organisation change based on observations of where companies repeatedly go wrong and fail to meet their aspirations.

Kotters 8 Steps

The first three steps are about creating a climate for change

The next three steps are about engaging and enabling the whole organisation

The last two steps are about implementing and sustaining change

By using Kotters 8 step Change Management framework with Enterprise Architecture best practices we can deliver complex organisational changes to the business

I a future blog I will describe each of the 8 steps in more detail, enjoy



















8 Steps to successful Change Management

Three Steps to Heaven

In 1960 Eddie Cochran sang ‘Three Steps to Heaven’



Step one – you find a girl to love

Step two – she falls in love with you

Step three – you kiss and hold her tightly


In 2 minutes 30 seconds Eddie was able provide three simple steps to eternal happiness, unfortunately successful Change Management takes a bit longer.

In this posting I will introduce Kotter’s 8 steps to Change Management to those who have yet to come across it.

Why Change Management

The impact of poor Change Management is all around us, and is often a major factor in IT project failures and cancelations, with high profile multi-Million dollar failures increasingly becoming Global news stories, it it something we all have to get right.

Earlier this year the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative (DMI) IT project was canceled with nothing to show after spending almost £100, this story unfortunately is not unique with according to surveys 70-80% of projects failing

Kotter’s 8 Steps to Change Management

In Professor John P. Kotter’s book Leading Change, Kotter introduces us to an 8 steps methodology to successfully manage change, the first four steps focus of de-freezing the organisation, the next three steps make the change happen, and the last step re-freeze.

Kotters 8 Steps for Change Management
Kotters 8 Steps for Change Management





The 8 steps methodology is the result of research conducted over 10 years on 100’s projects, across multiple industries, national boundaries, and with some the of largest companies in the world.

The 8 steps below are designed to be performed sequentially.

Step One – Establish a sense of urgency.

  • Examine market and competitive realities.
  • Identify and discuss crises, potential crises, or major opportunities.

Step Two – Form a powerful coalition.

  • Assemble a group with enough energy and authority to lead the change effort.
  • Encourage this group to work together as a team.

Step Three – Create a vision of change.

  • Create a vision to direct change effort.
  • Develop strategies for achieving the vision.

Step Four – Communicate the vision

  • Use every possible means to communicate the new vision and strategies.
  • Teach new behaviours using the example of the guiding coalition team.

Step Five – Empower people and remove obstacles

  • Get rid of obstacles to change.
  • Change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision.
  • Encourage risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions.

Step Six – Generate short-term wins.

  • Plan for visible performance improvements.
  • Create those improvements.
  • Recognise and reward employees involved in the improvements.

Step Seven – Consolidate gains

  • Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision.
  • Hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision.
  • Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.

Step Eight – Anchor the changes in the corporate culture

  • Articulate the connections between the new behaviour and corporate success.
  • Develop ways to ensure leadership development and succession.