A foundational framework for agile enterprise architecture

Publication Name

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma


Purpose: The application of agility principles and methodologies on Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a promising field. This paper aims to provide an in-depth study of the Agile Enterprise Architecture (AEA) by studying EA practitioners’ perspectives to propose a foundational framework for AEA. Design/methodology/approach: The authors formulate a foundational framework that defines the AEA motivators, enablers and blockers using the agile manifesto as one of the AEA enablers where a total of 156 EA stakeholders with at least one year of experience in enterprise architecture were surveyed, and a set of hypotheses was analyzed and tested based on the proposed framework. The authors also develop a quantitative method to evaluate the agility index of the EA based on the introduced framework. Findings: The research results show with significance that enterprise architects perceive positively the application of the agility methodologies on the enterprise architecture. This perception is primarily affected by the enterprise size, the EA dependency and the agile methodologies awareness. The findings also indicate that AEA is primarily motivated by the Business and IT Change Ready and Responsive EA. Finally, an EA Agility Index (EAAI) was designed to assess the agility application of the EA based on the three forces, i.e. motivators, enablers and blockers. Research limitations/implications: Because of the chosen research approach and the sample size, the research results may lack generalizability. Also, EAAI designed was not thoroughly tested. Practical implications: The paper includes implications for the design and development of an EA Agility Index, and the need to increase the awareness of the agility methodologies to overcome the blocker of the unfamiliarity with the agile methodologies implying that the current business models in enterprise must be more aligned with the agile methodologies. Originality/value: While there are efforts to develop AEA frameworks, one of the major findings of the literature review conducted is that there is evident research gap in the literature on the perception and associated factors of the EA stakeholders on having an agile enterprise architecture. This paper attempts to fill this gap.

Open Access Status

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