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Enterprise Architecture: Steps to Implementation

Steps to Implementing an Operating Model

Now that an operating model has been selected, certain steps need to be taken to implement the new plan. In Bechera’s article, An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture, it states, “the main objectives of enterprise architecture are building a culture of reuse through a common language...” In order to create this culture of reuse and turn the visualization of the operating model into reality, the core business processes, data sharing, technologies and customer interfaces must be identified. (Ross, Weill, and Robertson, 2006)

As with anything worth having in life, implementing a new operating model is not an overnight procedure. In fact, it will take years for Ralph’s to become fully standardized. As Jeanne Ross tells us in her interview The Stages of EA Maturity, “Let’s find one process, or one kind of data that--if we got this right--would fundamentally improve our company.” This is the first step, and Ralph’s is no exception. They must identify the most important elements for standardization before they can implement their new operating model.

To identify these elements, a governance team was created. This team is comprised of a group of individuals from all sectors of the business operations, and includes members from senior management, IT, financial, product supply, human resources, and front-line staff. These people have been working together to analyze which procedures currently work for Ralph’s Ribs, and which processes need to be redefined to operate effectively throughout the organization. (Bechera, 2007)

In a replication model, key processes are standardized throughout the organization with each unit operating as an autonomous entity. According to Ross, Weill, and Robertson, 2006, “replication allows rapid expansion and scalability.” In order for Ralph’s to implement a replication model, the governance team has identified three areas where processes can be standardized to provide improved financial practices, efficient distribution of products, superior customer service, and reliable data transmission. These core business processes are:

  1. Accounting processes
  2. Distribution processes
  3. IT Infrastructure.

First and foremost, the accounting processes need to be standardized. These processes will encompass input/output of funds and daily reports, distribution of assets, budget planning, performance analysis, and payroll procedures. They will also include establishing policies and strategic planning. (Transport Financial Analysis)

The distribution process has long been a bone of contention among franchise owners, so it will be addressed as well. Franchises in different regions cannot be expected to order from the same supply house. Procedures for approving local distributors will be standardized, along with ordering procedures, receiving processes, and inventory management processes.

According to Samson Lee in his definition for

Infrastructure is the physical hardware used to interconnect computers and users. Infrastructure includes the transmission media, including telephone lines, cable television lines, and satellites and antennas, and the routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission paths. Infrastructure also includes the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that are transmitted.

Ralph’s IT Infrastructure is basically nonexistent which means building from the ground up. Standardized hardware will be required at all franchise locations, and a standardized transmission/internet connection method must be decided on. Software will need to be created for standardized processes in all core categories and standardized security software will be required. (Lee, 2006) The core diagram shows a breakdown of the areas where standardization is required.

Ralph’s Ribs will be well on their way if they follow the roadmap provided by the governance team. Standardizing these core business processes will provide an easily replicated, successful franchise operation which will benefit all involved.


Bechera, Gabriel (2007/03/28). An introduction to enterprise architecture. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from Arch2Arch Web site

Lee, Samson (2006). Infrastructure. Retrieved July 29, 2008, from Data Center Definitions Web site

Ross, J., Weill, P., & Robertson, D. (2006). Enterprise architecture as strategy. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.

Ross, Jeanne W. The stages of EA maturity. Retrieved July 31, 2008,

Transport Financial Analysis, Session 5: financial and management accounting. Retrieved July 28, 2008, from NetTom Transportaion Operations Management Website