“More than 40 percent of Enterprise Architects say that the business leaders in their companies are not aware of what the EA group does.”
"Enterprise Architecture tools deliver true value ONLY when the broader organization can use the information that architects and others enter collaboratively for analysis and decision support."
“Stakeholder Management is an important discipline that successful architecture practitioners can use to win support from others. It helps them ensure that their projects succeed where others fail.”
These snippets perfectly convey why it’s critical to be transparent at an organization level when it comes to Enterprise Architecture. A transparent architecture practice can lead the organization
and ultimately leads to achieving its vision.
You might have felt that it’s important to make real-time architecture information available to the right audience at the right time while using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect (EA) for the following:
And in that endeavor, you would have used one or more of the following ways to share your EA models to the Enterprise Architecture stakeholders namely CxOs, Business heads, Managers, Administrators, Analysts, Engineers, and other non-EA users:
But there are some huge problems! These methods involve a significant amount of manual effort and the efforts need to be repeated every time there’s a change in the model resulting in a vicious cycle.
After all, the information shared is not even live. So, these sharing methods don’t really create much value in the journey to your organization’s vision.
Anyway, you are not alone! More than 80% of Enterprise Architect users face this problem and are actively looking out for an online sharing and collaboration platform that lets them share EA models to stakeholders effortlessly. (This is based on the 500+ EA and related demos we have given to global organizations in the last couple of years).
So, in this article, we bring you the top 4 highly successful ways how Enterprise Architect users in large organizations across the globe share EA models online in this digital age.
We will also be sharing specific customer use-cases to help you pick the methods that will suit your requirements.
Broadly, we will be looking at the following in this in-depth article:
Before we go in to the specifics, here is a quick overview of the 4 highly successful ways:
|Share to Collaborate||Share models with EA stakeholders based on roles with a goal to enable collaboration. Users can view EA information, collaborate, visualize, and analyze information|
|Share with different teams or customers||While this can also be done based on roles, teams, or groups, the primary goal is to make EA information, visualizations, and reports available to a large number of users in a cost-effective manner|
|Instant Share||The goal is to share a diagram or any EA information most simply and quickly|
|Share in Confluence / SharePoint||The goal here is to take live EA information to the stakeholders in the tools they use daily|
The objective here is to create simple self-service portals that make valuable information in your Enterprise Architect models available to the whole organization.
Although Share to Collaborate is the ideal way, we have seen many organizations which just want to share EA models most simply and cost-effectively.
The target audience are all users whom you want to constantly update on the progress of your Enterprise Architecture efforts; this can be different customers for whom you are working for or different teams in your organization with whom you want to share frequent updates.
Let’s see how users from different teams can access the shared models simply.
Before we see, here’s any EA user’s experience:
Now, let’s proceed to see how this single model has been shared with multiple teams just as simple user-friendly links:
Enterprise Architecture team:
Application Portfolio Management team:
Business Analysis team:
As you can see, users from different teams can access customized self-service portals just using a link created in Prolaborate. All the information they need is available to them in a single page. The user experience can’t get simpler that this!
Want to get a Live Preview? Click here
Want to know How it Exactly works? Click here
This multi-national organization based out of Europe (Featured in Fortune Global 500 in 2018) was using offline HTML exports to share specific EA information with their customers.
They have one humongous model and the offline export used to take nearly 20 hours (Yes, we were also surprised!) every time latest information needs to be shared with different customers.
if some customers want the latest information, they were asked to wait for at least one business day to get it.
Now, they use Prolaborate to share live EA information using a link and present all the information specific to the customer needs.
It is not just the whole manual process has disappeared but customers are also happy as all the required information is presented to them rather than them going through the repository browser to find the information.
Efforts required to train and support customers has also seen a steep decline with the help of these self-service portals. Many hundreds of hours of manual work have been saved per year!
If you feel it all looks well and good but unsure if Prolaborate will deliver value as communicated, we accept this as a challenge!
Let’s look at the ways you can evaluate these sharing methods!
Let’s take quick tour of these sharing methods.
Share to Collaborate
Click on this link to see the experience of a user when he or she logs in to Prolaborate using their credentials.
You can see the complete experience (Repository browser, Dashboards, My diagrams, etc.) has been customized to the team this user is part of.
Share with Different Teams or Customers
Click on this link. This will be the exact experience of a team member or customer who clicks on the link. You can see the experience is personalized similarly as above.
Click on this link. This will be the experience of anybody in your organization who clicks on this link. Live information taken instantly to anybody in the organization using a simple link. Users can click on the objects to information customized based on their needs.
Register for a 30-day free trial using this link as the first level of evaluation to explore these sharing methods:
If you are happy with the trial, you can go ahead with a Proof of Concept to try out all the sharing methods with the real stakeholders with your own EA models.
It is better to start a Proof of Concept (PoC) to demonstrate the value of Prolaborate to the decision makers in your organization.
This is the reason we have an option to start a no-obligation free-of-cost PoC where you can try every single capability discussed in this article with your own EA models.
You can even bring in all the business users, EA stakeholders, and non-EA users not just to evaluate but to start using these ways to share.
Licenses can be arranged as per your requirements and you will be getting a production-grade version of the application without any limitations.
Before we look at the steps to get started with Proof of Concept, here is the technical architecture of Prolaborate.
Currently, Architects would be using Enterprise Architect to connect to the EA repositories directly through Server or Cloud connection.
Prolaborate will connect to your EA models directly using the OSCL restful APIs provided by Pro Cloud Server, which is again a product by Sparx Systems.
As you can see, there are no synchronizing processes or programs that enables live information in Prolaborate; every time some information from EA is requested by the user in Prolaborate or Confluence, it is brought in from your EA models at that moment.
Setup Prolaborate on your premises
Here is the link to the step by step video guide if you want more clarity on the process.
To make it clear, Prolaborate is not just available as an on-premises option, there are cloud hosting options as well.
While there is a small cost associated with the cloud PoCs, you can get started with your evaluation of Prolaborate easily as we take care of infrastructure setup.
Avail Prolaborate on Cloud
Let’s move on to the HOW part of these sharing ways as we are done with WHY and WHAT part of them.
Once the Enterprise Architect projects are added as Prolaborate repositories with links of your choice, all it takes is a couple of steps to share EA models with different teams or customers most simply and cost-effectively.
This is where you decide which team needs to see which part of an EA model. You can define access permissions at a granular level.
Read more: Setup Access Permissions
To customize the experience one-step further, you can define dashboards for each team. They get to see relevant information in a summarized way once they login.
Read more: Design Dashboards
Then you can share the repository links with appropriate teams as needed.
Once you are happy with the Proof of Concept, it’s time to go ahead with the purchase.
To help you, here are some common options that most of the organizations go for.
|Growing Teams||Suitable for Organizations just getting started with EA||25 licensed users pack with limited features|
|Large Teams||Best for Organizations who have a fairly established EA practice||Most popular full-feature 100 users pack|
|Enterprise||Huge organizations with a large number of EA stakeholders||Unlimited users, all features, and extended support|
Please note the Growing Teams edition does not have all the features we saw in this article.
To Share with different teams or customers you need to avail the Open Community Access add-on and to Share in Confluence you need to avail the Integrations add-on. It’s better to get started with Large Teams edition as it gives access to all the capabilities without any limitations.
To make it easier for everyone to be part of the larger vision, you need to
Ultimately, it’s imperative to make the right information available to the right audience at the right time.
Before we end, let’s take a quick look at list the organizations that use Prolaborate to get closer to their Vision through their Enterprise Architecture efforts: Prolaborate Customers