An empirical evaluation of design decision concepts in enterprise architecture

Georgios Plataniotis, Sybren de Kinderen, Dirk van der Linden, Danny Greefhorst, Henderik A. Proper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Enterprise Architecture (EA) languages describe the design of an enterprise holistically, typically linking products and services to supporting business processes and, in turn, business processes to their supporting IT systems. In earlier work, we introduced EA Anamnesis, which provides an approach and corresponding meta-model for rationalizing architectural designs. EA Anamnesis captures the motivations of design decisions in enterprise architecture, alternative designs, design criteria, observed impacts of a design decision, and more. We argued that EA Anamnesis nicely complements current architectural languages by providing the capability to learn from past decision making. In this paper, we provide a first empirical grounding for the practical usefulness of EA Anamnesis. Using a survey amongst 35 enterprise architecture practitioners, we test the perceived usefulness of EA Anamnesis concepts, and compare this to their current uptake in practice. Results indicate that while many EA Anamnesis concepts are perceived as useful, the current uptake in practice is limited to a few concepts - prominently 'rationale' and 'layer'. Our results go on and show that architects currently rationalize architectural decisions in an ad hoc manner, forgoing structured templates such as provided by EA Anamnesis. Finally, we interpret the survey results discussing for example possible reasons for the gap between perceived usefulness and uptake of architectural rationalization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractice of Enterprise Modeling - 6th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference, PoEM 2013, Proceedings
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783642416408
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event6th IFIP WG 8.1 Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling, PoEM 2013 - Riga, Latvia
Duration: 6 Nov 20137 Nov 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Volume165 LNBIP
ISSN (Print)1865-1348


Conference6th IFIP WG 8.1 Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling, PoEM 2013


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