Government of Alberta Canada – Enterprise Architecture
The government of Alberta, Canada spends more than $340 million per year on IT and employs more than 26,000 staff in 24 ministries. The Government of Alberta Foundation Project was launched in September 2001, to establish EA as part of Premier Ralph Klein's call for increased cross-government initiatives.
Key aspects of the Government of Alberta Enterprise Architecture (GAEA) include a comprehensive, top-down approach; performance metrics designed up front; and priorities established for common services.
By December 2002, the Alberta Foundation Project built a team of more than 130 staff, including a core team with experts from IBM Global Services, governance committees, subject matter experts and extended business contacts. They defined business, application, data, technology and security architectures; implemented a custom-built central repository; created a governance model; conducted a gap assessment; and created a plan for the transition to future state architectures.
From the outset, the team defined a capability maturity model and a balanced scorecard to track progress. In addition, the architecture team's analysis of each ministry's business processes identified 106 common business areas; 73 shareable areas in the data architecture; 69 application components; and 101 technology services as targets for development, standardization and sharing.
The foundation project laid the groundwork for rationalization of business processes and IT resources across governmental silos. The architecture provides a vehicle for continued work to streamline services and reuse assets.
Alberta's program has three chief notable characteristics.
First, it has a formal, highly visible foundation for change. The GAEA is a classic example of a Zachman-influenced EA program that is very large in scope. The foundation project was managed like a well oiled machine, with detailed planning and metrics.
Second, its governance model lacks teeth. According to John Chandler, Alberta's chief enterprise architect, governance of alignment with the architecture is "more mandate than authority." The core architecture team must work to overcome the "what's in it for me?" attitude of skeptical project sponsors.
Third, it has success stories, one project at a time. In a recent project, architects persuaded reluctant business participants to take a GAEA-driven approach. The design project was completed on time, on budget,