We seem to be in a new age of EA literature, with a growing number of books that really get into the detail of how one can architect.
One example is Marc Gewertz and his book Defining Enterprise.
But what makes a good, useful, practical artefact?
Here are some ideas that can be used as criteria to help make your artefacts more useful.
6 criteria to evaluate your artefacts
- Artefacts should be consistent with the architecture – sounds obvious, but I’ve come across many in my time that weren’t.
- Artefacts should be as complete as possible – they need to describe everything that needs to be included. When things are left out, artefacts don’t make as much sense.
- Artefacts should be well documented – they need to use appropriate diagramming techniques, supported by notes that help a user understand and interpret them correctly. Presentation of information is one of the eight fundamental facts in EA.
- Artefacts should be easy to reuse – it is sometimes necessary to break a large artefact down into smaller elements or to produce a more generalised version with a range or sub-types that can be reused in different contexts.
- Artefacts should be easy to extend or modify – this allows them to evolve as circumstances change, or as new information or ideas come to light.
- Artefacts should match the views and viewpoints of relevant stakeholders – it may be necessary to have several artefacts covering the same information, but presented in different ways to meet the needs of different stakeholders.