Not Sure Where to Start with your EA Initiative? Use our EA Playbook

Essential Playbook – a Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture Success for All

We often find that Enterprise Architecture teams have such a plethora of demands and requests from different stakeholders that it makes it difficult to create and stick to a plan that will provide value and cement the credibility of the team. We have written several blogs describing methods to address this, but the Essential Playbook provides a real, practical guide to delivering a successful enterprise architecture, based on real experiences.

EAS was an Enterprise Architecture Consultancy for over 20 years, and the Playbook is based on the experience of our team as they supported EA efforts across many different types of organisations.

In our consulting days the organisations we supported were mainly large Fortune 500 global organisations.  Since we launched Essential, a low-cost tool that opens the benefits of EA to a wider range of institutions, we support clients of all types, from large to medium, through NGOs and Charities to Universities; those with EA Teams or those with multitasking individuals who do it all.

The Playbook can be used by any EA Team – it is enterprise architecture focused rather than Essential focused.  It provides different starting points and EA routes to success dependent on your aims/issues, the data available and the buy-in of your stakeholders.

How Playbook Helps

Based on our value-driven approach, rather than framework support, the Essential Playbook outlines common problems and provides detailed steps on how to address them, including:

  • Initiators and a Starting Position
    • Major problems being experienced or key requests received from stakeholders
    • The current position of the EA Team/IT organisation
  • Pre-Requisites
    • What will be required to make the play a success from an organisational buy-in perspective
  • Plan
    • A high-level plan of how to achieve the play’s outcome(s)
  • Common Outcomes
    • The outcomes you can expect to achieve/value you will provide
  • Inputs
    • The roles that will need to be involved and what they will need to provide
  • Communications
    • Suggested communication points with various stakeholders
  • Detailed Plan
    • The play is broken down into a series of steps to be followed, covering detail such as what data is needed, where you might source it, how to govern and communicate and what the next steps are

EAS Recommendations

Playbook is not a lesson in EA, it is a practical guide that can be used by anyone to provide focus to their plans and ensure they deliver success.  It is based on our practical experience, but no two organisations are the same and so you can adapt it to meet your own needs.  Key learnings from our time as Enterprise Architects ourselves are:

  • Stick to the plan – don’t be distracted by different requests from different teams. Communicated with them, prioritise their demands and add to the EA roadmap, but don’t head off in a different direction until the current value is delivered
  • Only capture the data needed for that step – if you capture data that is not required it will become stale
  • Ensure governance and data maintenance are included in the plan – any data you capture must be maintained and you need to assigned ownership and responsibilities. Each step is a building block so you need to ensure your foundations are solid and don’t crumble on out of date data
  • Communicate your success – at the end of the play you will have delivered value – make people aware of your success and what you are doing next


If you are looking for success in your enterprise architecture effort, the Playbook can be found on our website here.

If you would like a pdf version, contact us with a quick summary of your problem, and we’ll send you a copy with a suggested starting point.

Previous related blogs:

Delivering Successful Enterprise Architecture Needs an Achievable Plan

 Is your Enterprise Architecture delivering value?

Empowering the Enterprise Architecture Function

Does successful Enterprise Architecture need Business Engagement?

Common Mistakes we see when implementing an EA Tool

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