Teamwork is critical to the success of Enterprise Architecture within the State of North Dakota. A variety of partnerships, committees, and teams collaborate to build consensus within the EA structure. North Dakota's EA model is not the typical think-tank created framework with a hierarchy of teams. Rather, four essential Architectures meet monthly, and those meetings are attended by anyone that wishes to participate in the EA process. As standards are developed or initiatives are created, and a decision point arises, all EA participants optionally respond to a survey. The results of each survey are delivered to the CIO as a recommendation, and the CIO makes the final decision. So while there are Architecture teams, those teams have no designated formal membership. And each EA participant, regardless of which Architecture they participate in, has an equal voice in each decision made. This cross-architecture exposure provides a review process that replicates the functions of a traditional Architecture Review Board. The flat, non-hierarchial model also makes the EA process more responsive by eliminating the typical staged approval process that can often slow progress.
The EA process also relies heavily on the Information Technology Coordinators Council (ITCC), which is a subset of IT Cooridnators representing all state agencies. The ITCC provides much of the functionality that is normally associated with Business Architecture, and owns business-related EA standards and initiatives. The ITCC does have a formal membership body, and those members all participate in the survey process for EA decision points just like the participants in the four Architectures. The ITCC also addresses IT initiatives outside the scope of EA.
Enterprise Architecture (EA) interweaves business and IT together. It consists of the vision, principles, and standards that guide the purchases and deployment of technology within the enterprise.