Chapter 10

Can We Do Agile Enterprise Architecture?

There are certain characteristics that differentiate formal professions from other careers. Physicians and lawyers must obtain certification, typically from a government-run or government-sponsored certification body. These professions have standards of practice and codes of conduct that Congress or other legislatures (or their global equivalents) pass into law. If a professional violates such practices or codes, they are guilty of malpractice, opening them up to lawsuits and potential loss of license. As a result, such professionals must purchase malpractice insurance to address the resulting liabilities.

In essence, what distinguishes a profession from other careers is the governmental regulation that protects customers from incompetents and charlatans. Enterprise Architecture (EA), of course, has no such regulations. So, are we calling for governmental regulation of the EA profession? Not so fast.

The problem is that we are nowhere near ready to involve legislation in the EA profession. There would need to be broad agreement among EA practitioners as to what constituted proper, professional EA. Today, however, EAs cannot even agree on what EA is, let along how best to conduct the practice of EA.

It's as though we were asking what it would take to become a cardiologist, but nobody in the medical profession had made it past pre-med anatomy. Everybody is still arguing over what to call the various parts of the architecture, while ...

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