Being able to demonstrate the benefit of undertaking Enterprise Architecture requires, like other business initiatives, the establishment of appropriate performance metrics. Being able to provide quantifiable validation that Enterprise Architecture activities actually contribute value to the business can enshrine its ongoing use.
In establishing performance metrics it is important that they have resonance with the business.
High level KPIs such as:
- Identifying reuse opportunities
- Identifying functional duplication
- Reducing design rework
need to be expressed so that the business can on any particular initiative can quantify the actual benefit;
- Initiative A Identified x reuse opportunities
- Initiative B Identified x functions that have been duplicated resulting in a reduction of project scope
- Project C reduced design and development rework by x%
Each of these could be quantified with both a financial and time to implementation benefit (saving $y and z man days of effort).
One obstacle to being able to quantify these benefits is however not having a benchmark in place from which the benefit can be measures against.
Being able to answer the questions ‘what is the value to the business of being able to reuse components already developed?’ and ‘what was the cost of developing the function that you avoiding duplicating?’ ‘what is the cost of rework?’ needs to be answerable.
Going ‘hand in hand’ with a developing Enterprise Architecture is a business that is baselined. Knowledge and understanding of where the business is, what costs it has incurred getting there and why becomes an important asset for realising future benefit.
The likelihood that this baseline knowledge exists is often low but with effort can be established whilst the Enterprise Architecture matures.