Enterprise architecture mapping

Final | October 2018 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL-Public | QGCIO

Purpose

Mapping refers the activity of identifying and documenting the relationships between elements within a layer of an enterprise architecture or across layers of an enterprise architecture. Mapping assists the practitioner to better understand the current state of an organisation with respect to the business strategic direction, services provided and supporting business processes, information applications and underpinning technology. Mapping provides a comprehensive understanding of what is important to the business in terms of business direction as well as identify information, applications and technology assets/services that the business relies on to delivery its services.

The analysis of mapping may result in actions that can be carried forward into the planning activities with the business.

It should be noted some mapping relationships are required for whole-of-government reporting purposes.

Audience

A practitioner in the context of this guideline can include one or more of the following roles:

  • Enterprise architects
  • Digital and ICT strategic planners
  • Agency and service strategic planners
  • Business analysts.

Mapping

Before conducting any mapping activities, the practitioner should engage with the business planning unit, the enterprise architecture unit or other business stakeholders within the organisation to identify which elements relevant to the planning engagement may have already been mapped.

Mapping should only be conducted once the practitioner is satisfied all relevant elements have been gathered and documented in the relevant registers including:

  • Business direction register
  • Business service register
  • Business process register
  • Information assets register
  • Application assets register
  • Technology assets register.

Mapping involves identifying the relationships between elements either within or across a layer of an enterprise architecture. The figure below demonstrates the concept of mapping with respect to the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture.

Figure 1 - Business, Information, Application and Technology mapping

Mapping across layers is generally conducted from one layer to the layer above in an enterprise architecture.

The extent to which mapping is conducted will depend on the scope of the planning engagement and the information available. For a large agency, it may not be feasible to map all the relationships. It may be reasonable to focus on business strategic directions and core services of the agency and map only the relationships between the business strategic direction and services, services and information as well as services and applications.

The table below outlines the recommended combinations of mapping for conducting digital and ICT strategic planning. It also demonstrates the high concentration of mapping in the strategy and business layers. This confirms the value of mapping in understanding the business of the planning organisation in terms of its strategic direction and services.

Table 1 - Digital and ICT planning framework mappings

For smaller planning engagements (e.g. single business area), conducting all recommended mappings may ensure both the practitioner and the business has a thorough understanding of the business direction, services, processes, information, applications and technology capability of the organisation prior to commencing the planning engagement.

For larger planning engagements that cover the entire agency it may only be possible to map the relationships between the strategic elements and the relationships between information, applications and technologies.

Analysis

Within the digital and ICT planning framework the resulting relationships between elements are classified as a gap, supported, highly supported, highly supporting or not supporting. This is determined by the proportion of mappings (zero, one to one or a one to many) and the nature of the relationship as either being a ‘supported by’ or ‘supporting’ relationship.

Using the mapping between an applications and business processes as an example.

  • Gap - a business process is not supported by an application this may represent a gap if the business process is not a manual process.
  • Supported – a business process is supported by one application
  • Highly supported - a business process is supported by multiple applications.
  • Highly supporting – an application is supporting more than one business process.
  • Not supporting – an application is not supporting any business processes.

Mappings can be used to ensure all necessary information about a current state of the planning organisation has been gathered prior to the commencement of the planning activity. For example, gaps may highlight the scope of the applications collected is not consistent with the scope of business processes collected.

Table 2 below highlights recommended actions to be undertaken by the practitioner to ensure consistency in the scope of information collected prior to analysing the results of mapping at the agency or business area level.

Result

Description

Recommended action

Gaps

One element not supported by any other element.

  • Investigate gaps to ensure elements have not been overlooked. Include any additional elements to the mapping that were discovered as a result of the investigation.
  • Investigate the scope of the elements included in the gather activities. Ensure the scope of the elements collected is consistent with the scope of the other mapped elements collected. Adjust the elements collected in the mapping so the scope is aligned.
  • Investigate gaps to ensure the elements are not legacy elements. Remove any legacy elements from the mapping
  • Accept the gaps and document the reasons why the gaps have been accepted. Confirm the acceptance of gaps with the planning sponsor or other representatives from the business.

Supported

One element supported by only one other element.

  • No action required

Highly supported

One element supported by many other elements.

  • This is generally not an issue and would be considered normal
  • If one element is supported by an excessive number of elements, this may be indication the scope of an element is too broad. Consider splitting the element (e.g. service or information asset) into two or more explicit elements and review the mapping.
  • Confirm any changes with the planning sponsor or other representatives from the business.

Highly supporting

One element supporting many other elements.

  • This is generally not an issue and would be considered normal
  • If one element is supporting an excessive number of other elements, this may be indication the scope of an element is too broad. Consider splitting the element into two or more explicit elements and review the mappings.
  • Confirm any changes with the planning sponsor or other representatives from the business.

Not supporting

One element not supporting any other element.

  • Investigate these relationships to ensure other elements have not been overlooked. Include any additional elements to the mapping that were discovered as a result of the investigation.
  • Investigate the scope of the elements included in the gather activities. Ensure the scope of the elements collected is consistent with the scope of the other mapped elements collected. Adjust the elements collected in the mapping so the scope is aligned.
  • Investigate further to ensure the elements are not legacy elements. Remove any legacy elements from the mapping
  • Accept the mapping and document the reasons why the mapping has been accepted. Confirm the acceptance of the mapping with the planning sponsor or other representatives from the business.

Table 2 - Planning Actions Resulting from Mapping

At an agency or business area level the significance of the Gap, Supported, Highly supported, Highly supporting or Not supporting relationships is described in the following table.

Result

Description

Strategic Opportunity

High proportion of gaps

One element not supported by any other element.

Depending on context, this may not be an issue but may indicate missed elements in the data gathering activities.

Gaps may be genuine. In these circumstances, new initiatives may arise that include the implementation/development of new services or ICT capability.

High proportion of supported

One element supported by only one other element.

This is generally considered normal and acceptable but may indicate a critical dependency on certain elements or a single point of risk exposure that needs to be managed.

High proportion of highly supported

One element supported by many other elements.

When mappings relate to ICT assets and services, such as applications and technologies, opportunities may exist to rationalise the portfolio of assets and services.

High proportion of Highly supporting

One element supporting many other elements.

This is considered normal but may indicate a significant dependency on some elements depending on the context. This represents a single point of risk exposure that needs to be managed.

High proportion of Not supporting

One element not supporting any other element.

When mappings relate to ICT asset and services this may indicate information, applications or technologies are no longer required. In these circumstances, initiatives may arise that retire some assets and services and rationalise the portfolio.

Table 3 - Strategic Opportunities Arising from Mapping

Mappings can be represented as diagrams that demonstrate the relationships between elements or graphs that demonstrate a high dependency between elements.

Analysis of mapped relationships in accordance with table 3 can be used to identify potential strategies that can be carried forward for consideration by the business as part of the digital and ICT planning engagement.

Next steps

The results of the analysis of mappings can be presented back to the planning sponsor as well as the business representatives as part of the planning workshops during the planning engagement.

It may be appropriate to suggest recommended management strategies that should be considered when developing the digital or ICT strategy or plan document.

Alternatively, recommendations may need to be carried forward into operational planning activities.

Resources

Resource

Link

ICT resources profiling tool

https://www.qgcio.qld.gov.au/services/analytics-and-research/ICT-profiling-templates

Mind mapping and relationship tools

Coggle


Last Reviewed: 03 September 2019