IA/EA: I Know Exactly How Many People It Takes

Putting the ‘Map’ in Enterprise Mapping

Fed | Portfolio | Sustainability
A few years ago, a colleague and I began discussing our mutual client's issues. She had come, as she often had, to discuss the business rules of a facilities organization and how technology fit. I had just finished an epic technology engagement for this client and she was about to embark on another. She needed my help building a diagram that explained a client/server setup serving several divisions. How did the data flow through this organization? Who created it? Who owned it? Who used it? When and how? We had many of these answers. Inventories of data, documents, applications were in our hands. We had built extensive workflow diagrams of the kind used by engineers for a century. But to tell her story, we needed to show these answers concurrently. And as we explored her problem, it became clear the two of us held a unique position. We each possessed comprehensive strategic and tactical view of the organization. We felt there was real value in trying to map business processes in detail. This was one of our attempts.   We have had mixed responses from clients. For process owners, they very much appreciate having the comprehensive view. IT professionals love seeing the business rules, data ownership and trouble spots. Executives appreciate the tour, but are still reserving judgment on utility. Analysts also appreciate the view, but find the drafting a bit daunting.