An Enterprise Architecture Tool for Your Business – Part Two

An Enterprise Architecture Tool for Your Business – Part Two : Every EA demo is different

Use this Enterprise Architecture demo checklist. Regardless of the path the salesperson or product engineer takes, you need to make sure the tool supports your functional needs and stakeholder use cases (link to prior blog). Here is the list of critical questions every Enterprise Architecture management tool demonstration needs to address.

  1. Usability – is the tool engineered to be easy and intuitive to use?
    Can you (and your stakeholders) easily navigate around the tool with minimal reference?
    Do you always know where you are in the tool? Example, does the tool use elements like ‘breadcrumbs’ to form steps and eliminate clicks?
    Are standard web patterns being used throughout the tool to eliminate confusion? Example, the color red is for errors and icons are recognized symbol messages.
    Is the control information easy to find?  Example, are related features grouped in a drop down so they don’t interfere with other features in the tool?
    Can you personalize the tool? Example, you can easily configure the look and feel of the tool to match your company’s environment?
    How many resources will be needed to administer the tool and support report and visualization?
  1. Distributed working – can the tool be used simultaneously by multiple stakeholders inside and outside the enterprise?
    Can you (and your stakeholders) easily define specific views and permission controls for each user role (or by multiple roles) you configure? Example, permission to read, creates, update and delete data.
    Is the tool really mobile ready?  Did you try it using your own device?
    Security and data privacy is paramount – does the authentication function and secure protocol meet your compliance requirements?
  1. Search Engine – does the tool provide natural and easy search queries without the usage of complex wildcards and filters?
    Is the search function case ‘insensitive’ in case you don’t know the exact spelling of a word? Can you search on a special character, for example A * or a ?
    Do you feel that you (and your key stakeholders) can easily search / retrieve data – similar to using the Google search engine?
  1. Visualizations and Reporting – does the ‘out of the box’ visualization and reporting features meet your needs?
    You saw how to create diagrams and visualizations from scratch – as opposed to seeing something that’s already built. Do you have a good understanding on how the ‘out of the box’ visualization and reporting features work?
    Do you have to purchase or use another product to generate the types of reports you need to understand your overall IT landscape and business architecture?
    Does the tool provide role based (user) defined diagrams and reports?
    Can you send an URL to colleagues, who join remote, so all of you can be working with the same visualization?
    Is there a rich array
 of graphical options for configuring and presenting content with the capability to export diagrams directly to SVG, PDF, PNG and in Microsoft Visio?
    Are you confident you can create the visualizations and reports on your own with minimal reference?
  1. Meta model – Is the metamodel flexible?
    Does the ‘out of the box’ metamodel help you jump-start your configuration?
    Is the configuration straightforward? Example, can you simulate your Business, IS, Technical and Infrastructure domains with minimal reference?  Can you connect or build the relationships, add attributes and elements with minimal reference?
  1. Strategic Development – Does the tool create future state scenarios?
    A benefit of the repository is to support strategic planning. Creating different future state scenarios enable you (and your stakeholders) to make informed decisions on project impacts, target architectures, etc.
    Can the tool create as many separate future state scenarios, as you require?
    How easy is it to view, retrieve, and analyze the data?
  1. Governance – Does the tool provide governance of the repository?
    Is it easy to manage the tool? Example, defines users, roles, and assigns permissions to them, runs consistency checks.
    Are the consistency checks automated? Example, emails notify you when and who is making changes, reports tell you detailed information of the change.

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