The failure of success factors: Lessons from success and failure cases of enterprise architecture implementation

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Conference Proceeding
SIGMIS-CPR 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGMIS Conference on Computers and People Research, 2017, pp. 21 - 27
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Copyright © 2017 ACM. Many Enterprise Architecture programmes fail to meet expectations. While much has been written about the factors influencing the success of EA programmes, there are few empirical investigations of the role of critical success factors (CSFs) in the success of EA programmes. This study condensed the very broad literature on CSFs for EA identifying six key CSFs that share a broad consensus in the literature. A qualitative case study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the six key CSFs would distinguish between the successful and the unsuccessful programmes. Analysis of the case study data reveals that three key CSFs associated with the use of EA tools did not distinguish between successful and unsuccessful cases while three key CSFs related to the process of EA programme implementation did so. The study concludes that success in EA programmes comes more from how architecture is practiced than what is practiced. The findings have important implications for EA suggesting that the methodological skills of architects need to be supplemented with an understanding of practice.
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