NOTE: This article will soon be updated to reflect the evolution of EUP to be based on the
Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit. Please stay tuned.
The Enterprise Administration discipline extends iterative/agile processes such
as Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD),
Extreme Programming (XP), or Scrum to define how an
organization creates, maintains, manages, and deploys physical and informational
assets in a secure manner. The goal is not to simply add a new level of
bureaucracy, but rather to streamline these activities: it is easy to see how a
bureaucracy could be formed within your organization as you read this article,
but as always my advice is to remain as agile as your situation permits.
Some people look at enterprise administration as an extension of the
Operations and Support discipline, but we separate it because its activities
cross almost every discipline within the Enterprise Unified ProcessTM
(EUP). In particular, this is a
fundamental aspect of the advice provided by the
Information Technology Infrastructure
Library (ITIL). Like any phase or discipline within the EUP, different
organizations will apply the activities contained within this discipline in
different ways. Do what makes sense in your environment. It is important
to note that enterprise administration is one aspect of enterprise discipline, a
critical scaling factors for ensuring that
agile approaches scale to meet the needs of your full IT organization.
Table of Contents
There are five roles in this discipline, one abstract and four concrete:
Managing physical assets
Managing information assets
- Managing security
- Supporting project teams
- Enterprise administrator. Enterprise administrators are actively involved
in managing physical and informational assets along with security and
working with project teams. The other four roles in this discipline all
inherit from this one.
- Network administrator. This role is responsible for managing
and supporting the hardware and network for the organization.
- Facilities administrator. Facilities (such as buildings, new
construction, and undeveloped land) for the organization are managed by this
- Information administrator. This role is responsible for
managing the information assets of your organization, including data,
intellectual property (IP), and licenses.
- Security administrator. This role is accountable for physical
and informational technology (IT) security.
The high-level workflow for the Enterprise Administration discipline is
depicted in Figure 1 and the detailed
workflow in Figure 2. This discipline includes the management of physical assets, information assets, and security
for the enterprise. One of the most important activities within this discipline
is working effectively with the project teams to support their efforts while
ensuring that the long-term needs of your organization are still met. An
important message of this discipline is that in order for it to succeed your
organization must be as agile as possible: it is possible for
enterprise-level professionals to work in an agile manner, but they must
choose to do so and be allowed to do so.
Figure 1. The workflow of the Enterprise
Figure 2. The amalgamated workflow of the
Enterprise Administration discipline.
The physical assets within your organization include hardware, networks, and
your computing facilities. The network administrator is responsible for managing
both hardware and networking infrastructures within your organization. This
person, if he or she is not someone from the operations and support staff, works
closely with these people at all times. The network administrator must keep both
the hardware and network plans up-to-date and ensure that information is
available and communicated to the various project teams. Network administrators
follow the relevant network and hardware
guidance to ensure that their work reflects the long-term vision captured
enterprise architecture model.
Network administrators are involved during the initial stages of a project to
help get the team set up with the appropriate hardware, software, and network
infrastructure. They will be called upon throughout the Construction phase to
help the project team with issues such as networking and infrastructure support
and establishing a test environment in parallel with a production environment.
At the end of the Transition phase, network administrators are involved to
ensure smooth deployment into your production environment. During the Production
phase, they help the operations and support staff with any monitoring situations
that arise. Finally, when a system is retired, network administrators are
heavily involved in sunsetting aspects of the system which affect the network.
Facilities administrators are responsible for the computing facilities of the
organization, including telecom and network infrastructure creation and
maintenance (outside of the IT world, this can also include buildings or
undeveloped land). Much like the network administrator, this person is tertiary,
working with the project teams throughout all phases, including the
phase, and helping with any operations and support-monitoring situations.
The information administrator is responsible for
managing the information assets (the data, intellectual property, and licenses)
of your organization. Figure 3 depicts the management
activities for information assets. The information administrator must deal
with the following goals:
Figure 3. Manage enterprise information assets
- Data stewardship. The goal of data stewardship is to ensure that
responsibility, accountability, and authority are associated with auditing
and reviewing the quality of data.
- Effective metadata management. Process solutions should be considered in
information-rich industries, which are especially prone to experiencing
metadata-related pain. Metadata repositories generally support both
technical and business aspects. Technical metadata is generally for the IT
staff and users; business metadata is used by business users within an
organization. Also, contrary to popular opinion, you can in fact take
approach to Master Data Management (MDM)
- Data storage build out. Your
enterprise architecture model
defines, among other things, the data
architecture within your organization including your forecasted data storage
needs. Information administrators must ensure that the data storage
infrastructure is upgraded in a timely manner to meet these needs.
- Support both online transaction processing (OLTP) and business
intelligent/data warehousing. Information administrators should work with
the specific project teams to support both approaches.
- Information quality. Quality of information is a subjective term, and
measuring quality is even more onerous. Information valuation is at best
misunderstood and at worst an extremely flawed academic exercise. The
different types of data stewards (definers, creators, and readers) are
responsible for maintaining quality of the information, and because they
have different goals, they will provide checks and balances within your
environment. The information administrator should work with the project
teams to educate them about data quality concepts; these can include
concepts such as data types and complexities, data integrity, the usage of
keys, how to avoid duplicate rows, normalization, data hierarchies,
redundancy, and metadata.
The information administrator is responsible for managing the data within the
enterprise. This person is normally involved during all phases. The need for
flexibility with project teams here is paramount: the team will need leeway to
try different things. The information administrator must ensure that before a
system goes into production, all of the information assets are correctly defined
and in place, including ensuring that licensing is completed. Effective
information administrators recognize that:
- Data is one of many enterprise assets. Although some people
within your organization may claim to "own" all of the data, in reality many
people have input into this vital enterprise asset. You must work with the
project teams to make this point clear. In the
Zachman Framework, enterprise data maps into the What (Structure) column
of the framework.
- Data is only one of many important aspects of an application. Too
many organizations allow the data tail to wag the application development
dog. The reality is that data is one of many important issues (this is the
first philosophy of the Agile Data method),
and it often isn't the primary one (regardless of what data professionals
- Some data will be inconsistent. Ideally data should be consistent
and should be stored in one place only. Realistically, that's not going to
happen; however, this should be one of your primary goals.
- You need to make trade-offs. Sometimes you need to sacrifice
long-term investment in your data for the sake of the short-term need of
development teams. Ineffective information administrators will focus solely
on the data, insisting that data issues are completely thought through early
in a project, a serial approach that ignores the fact that EUP development
teams work in an evolutionary manner. Information administrators should work
closely with project teams to learn the team's specific needs and
requirements as well as to communicate enterprise realities to the teams and
the develop a plan that works for both.
- You must be flexible. Bureaucracy breeds inflexibility. If the
information administrator is handing down orders and ideas in a one-way
fashion, then he or she should not be surprised to see project teams
avoiding or working around them. Open, two-way communication and teamwork is
critical to your success.
- You need to maintain legacy documentation. The information
administrator needs to develop and maintain documentation and models about
legacy data sources. Ideally the owners of the legacy systems are
responsible for the models, and the information administrators will just
need to have access to them.
- You need to maintain an enterprise data model. You (optionally)
need to develop an enterprise data model, based on your
enterprise domain model. A domain model is typically high-level, whereas
your enterprise data model will typically have more detail. Although
enterprise data modeling is often viewed as an enterprise business modeling
endeavor, the reality is that the information administrators are the people
who develop, own, and support this model.
- You must comply with external regulations. External regulating
bodies and legislation require organizations to comply with their specific
regulations. From a legal and ethical standpoint, remember that ignorance is
not an excuse for non-compliance. For example, in the USA, the
Sarbanes-Oxley (Sarbox) Compliance Act of 2002 (US Government 2002) requires
public companies to document their financial processes and show how the data
were calculated, including traceability back to the source, and the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (US Government
2004) provides federal protection for US workers. Ensuring that you comply
with relevant guidance is a small part of IT governance that information
administrators cannot ignore.
The next activity for the information administrator is the management of IP;
this is critical within organizations because it is a valuable resource.
An additional activity
performed by an information administrator is license management. License
management is important from both a cost and legal standpoint. From the cost
standpoint, you do not want to be overspending on licenses for software that is
unnecessary. From the legal standpoint, the last thing you need is someone from
the Business Software Alliance (BSA) showing up
at your organization with claims of piracy of commercial software; besides
receiving negative publicity, the imposed fines are steep and can have an impact
on your financials. License compliance and adherence to
standards are often the last things on the minds of developers, so enterprise
administrators will need to mentor and guide teams regarding these issues.
There are two different types of security that a security administrator needs
- Physical security includes the measures an organization takes to control
access to restricted locations; this type of security is to help prevent
terrorism or some less intrusive security breaches.
- Information security includes action taken to prevent unauthorized
access to organizational data and is performed at the IT level; this type of
security is to help prevent cyber-terrorism, hacking, or types of industrial
The melding of both physical and IT security is called convergent security,
which is being heavily pursued and supported by both types of security vendors
A security administrator should be involved during all phases of the EUP,
from setting up new security aspects at project inception to ensuring that after
a system is retired, everything from a security standpoint is in line with the
organizational guidance. Security administrators must address the following
- Enterprise IT protection
- IT budgets for security
- Security infrastructure build out
- Look internally for threats
- Security education
- Operating system flaws
The primary danger of the Enterprise Administration discipline is that you
will create a huge bureaucracy to implement it. Instead, your goal should be to
streamline the activities of this discipline so that application teams will want
to work with enterprise administrators instead of work around them. You need to
communicate with the project teams and gain their respect and trust while
educating and supporting them. In short, be as agile as you possibly can
for your situation. It is critical that each type of enterprise
administrator develops the relevant guidance for his or her specialty and then
supports project teams in its application. If the guidance reflects sensical practices
, if it's written well, if it's easy to conform to, and if it's
supported effectively, then project teams should be willing to follow them; you
should expect project teams to resist following your guidance otherwise.
The guidance includes:
- Network and hardware guidance.
Describes the types of network devices and protocols supported, how network
outages will be handled, and how to help prevent system downtime outside of
the normal maintenance windows. This also includes the standards for
hardware usage within your organization, financial depreciation
recommendations for computing systems, and recommended sources for required
- Facilities guidance. Describes the organizational standards and
guidelines for procuring hardware and other infrastructure items (such as
cubicles and conference room sizes and layouts). Also describes the
timelines and projections for physical growth within the organization.
- Data guidance. Describes the data quality management directive or
activity, the concepts that support it, any associated roles and
responsibilities, and any technical, operational, or administrative
- Security guidance. Describes password
policies (and enforcement), specific hardware and software vendors to work
with on security issues, and how to keep security software (such as
anti-virus or anti-spam definition files) updated. It describes the
differences between physical and IT security along with ways that they are
converging within the organization.
The Enterprise Administration discipline within the EUP
extends the RUP to cover the administration needs from an enterprise level. This
discipline includes managing both physical and information assets and the
security for the enterprise; it also includes information on how to support
project teams with the various initiatives and activities within this