In this blog post, I am going to explain, as best as I can, what Enterprise Architecture is, what it means for the Movement and why I am one of the first team members. I’ll start by explaining my role.
Rather than being the kind of architect who deals with the materials and design of a building, I deal with the building blocks of an organisation or ‘enterprise’. These building blocks are:
- people (who make thing happen)
- information (the material they work on)
- process (the way things get done)
- technology (the tools to get things done)
My role is to fix behind-the-scenes information, process and technology problems to help make working and volunteering at Scouting easier. My goal is to simplify the delivery of Scouting.
To do this, I’ll be looking at the architectural building blocks we have today and finding ways to improve them, in order to support the delivery of the Beyond 2018 plan to deliver skills for life to young people.
At the Scouts, both technology and data have become a bit unruly. Some of the IT tools we use are best-of-breed and some are inadequate. Sometimes several different systems do the same job. The management of membership data, which is the very life-blood of Scouting’s systems, needs improvement. We also need to look at how we can support members longer term. We are taking a good look at what we want to keep and what we should throw out, what we want to continue and what we want to stop. We have to imagine a new architecture and plan how to get there.
There are two main areas I’ll be looking at:
- The needs of volunteers (especially section leaders) and young people, and the systems that support them.
- The back-office functions, processes and the systems that we all need to support the delivery of Scouting
To ensure we start on the right path, we will manage all future work with a framework of strategy, principles, policies and standards.
One of the first things that I am looking at now is the technical strategy, which will explain how we want to work in the future and the components and systems we will need to be able to do this successfully. The technical strategy will help us implement the digital strategy and all technical decision making will be checked against it.
At the same time, I am working with colleagues to develop the policies and standards that we will use to ensure that best practice, with simplicity, is central to everything we do.
As part of the digital transformation work, we will look at developing a data strategy which will explain what we want to do with data and how we will make the improvements needed. It will also include a policy around data management and standards to ensure we do this in the right way.
Over the coming months, I will update you on these activities and some of my posts will start to get more technical.
Please feel free to comment below. I’d like to hear from everyone who has ideas or skills to offer.