Developing Your EPPA to Enable Developing Your ECA

I hope that you find the ECA – Enterprise Content Architecture a useful concept in thinking about how to organize your content and objects and object components….

This perspective, in the graphic above, is one look into the ECA…the other perspectives were covered earlier this month in another Blog Posting.

The only tricky part of this model is configuring Tiers 2 and 4/5…with a shadow-set of content in either Tier 4 or 5 for every set of content in Tier 2.

The Tiers are file cabinet “drawers” holding certain kinds of content making it much easier for the PULL Target Audience (or non-Target Audience) to find Enterprise content developed/acquired for PUSH Target Audiences…due to its ROI.

So how would YOU organize your UNIQUE TIER 2-4-5 segments of your ECA?

First a little conceptual background to ground you in my process performance perspective….

The ECA’s Tiers 2-4-5 are framed exactly as the EPPA – Enterprise Process Performance Architecture (my version of a Enterprise “Process Architecture”) is for your Enterprise.

Unfortunately most Enterprise do not have a framework of their Processes that is meaningful to anyone outside of IT. Thus my version. For HR and other proposes.

My EPPA is a way of organizing processes within a traditional functional organizational scheme.

See the branching tree network of the Enterprise down to BU/Divisions down to Functions and down to Departments…only I show it as 3 levels, but it could be more with a level of BU or Divisions in between the top of the Enterprise to the Functional and then Departmental levels – or whatever you call your “organizational entity” above individuals and teams.

So you could have 4 or 5 levels if needed. Or less. Later we’ll look at some examples for a small firm with only two levels.

Departments have a number of “Systems” at the Leadership Level, at the Core Level, and at the Support Level. They own the Core Level and “other departments” typically own the other two levels, and the department participates in those processes – owned elsewhere.

And then Systems can be broken out…in an WBS – Work Breakdown Structure approach…into Processes…and then into AoPs – Areas of Performance…which breakout into Output/Task “clusters of data” with measures and roles/responsibilities data and gap analysis data included with every O/T Cluster. It’s the data on the Performance Model for every AoP.

This model-set was intended to enable scalability to the simple idea of the Ishikawa Diagram. Something I was exposed to in the early 1980s at Motorola in their initial quality push.

My scalable version of that…to the L-C-S Systems/Processes of a department…

Taking a Systems View or Process Perspective is sometimes very difficult because of all of the inconsistent mental models about a Department’s processes. Those inconsistencies are often caused by each of the individuals’ unique set of experiences in some or all of those processes,,,and the lack of any formal Maps to help demystify it all and provide a common framework to help generate a common, shared understanding.

Processes are complex.

Some processes operate routinely, and others are on-demand. Some are formal, tight and specific and others are informal, loose and general. Some have huge consequences for competence or failure, and others do not. Some are named, many are not.

Can the EPPI and PACT analysis models of L-C-S stand up to the complexity. Do they help or hinder through adding more complexity?

In the BIG PICTURE of Enterprise Process Performance Improvement…

#1- The Process must be designed to meet stakeholder requirements…or no amount of beating on the workforce will change performance results – remember the lessons of Deming’s Red Bead Experiment? Then you worry appropriately about resourcing the “paper process” with what it takes to make it real and operating at desired levels for cost, quality and quantity…in terms of the human assets and the environmental assets necessary.

And then in turn you can look at your internal systems to assess how well they are provisioning these assets to your processes.

Who decides what is important about the outputs and process steps/activities that drive REQUIREMENTS?

Stakeholders…beyond the Customer as King/Queen.

What if the customer wanted you to do something necessitating breaking the law? Who is the King/Queen now?

That’s why it is important to understand the Stakeholder Requirements very well and their ratings of satisfaction. And where those requirements are going in the future…near term or long term.

You start with the department level after having determined the shared Systems/Processes/AoPs for the Leadership and Support Levels, starting with the following. Rename and reconfigure them as you need to, to make everyone OK with what you’ve got as long as you don’t create overlap or leave gaps.

Use the following template to start….

As a consultant did I use this? In the consulting firms where I was a partner?


At SWI (Svenson & Wallace Inc. 1982-1997) in the early 1990s we created this L-C-S framework to frame our own processes to develop Qualification/Certification Performance Tests for our staff…the staff OTR – On the Road…and the staff ITO – In the Office. We had up to 32 employees when we took this on.

Then at CADDI (1997-2002) we had one of our former consultants, then a manager, facilitate our staff in the creation of the following Maps. We had staff up to 28 there, OTR and ITO.

This 2-Tier approach to our own L-C-S makes sense due to our size and lack of organizational complexity.

Here is the top level…Tier 1 Map that they created.

Of course I would have done it a little differently. As always. But that’s one of the points…as long as it eventually gets down to all of the processes and all of the tasks so that we can describe ourselves in process terms and address them systematically as well as systemically…the top level framework is a means to an end.

Reconfiguring it later, for polishing or political reasons is easy…move the systems/processes as you reconfigure.

What is highly recommended is that you frame the really CORE things in the center. It’s the main value chain for the department, function or BU/Division/Enterprise.

Here is CADDI’s with the highlighted CORE…

Are those – were those – really, truly the CORE Systems/Processes of CADDI?

Maybe. Maybe not.

It wasn’t really important as long as we could all agree on the Map. Some things are means to an end only. This is often used beyond generating the details, to position or explain the Maps coming…the more detailed maps.

It is like using a map of the USA to show where Indiana is. And then using a state map of Indiana to see where La Porte is. And then using a street map of La Porte to trace my old paper route from back in the 1963-64 era for an eight year old. You know…for a “why- back in the good old days….” object lesson in personal finances…in an opportune learning moment out-of-the-blue. Informal Learning on the part of the learner – driven by the intent of someone other than the Learner.

The STATE Map of “C1-Marketing” from above follows next.

Then the two maps – for the Tier 1 View and then Tier 2’s C2…

Then the two maps – for the Tier 1 View and then Tier 2’s C3…

Then the two maps – for the Tier 1 View and then Tier 2’s C3..

Once you use this to frame your L-C-S Systems/ Processes/ Areas of Performance/ and all of your analysis and design data…

… you CAN better enable the process workflows with performance-based Information & Instruction as the ROI situation dictates…or to organize your Wikis for data capture and reporting/access.

And establish your Scorecards. See all of the L3s: Results Measurement. Which each link to all of the other boxes in that map – and link up (and down) as appropriate to the Tiers in the tree branching structure OR process structure of your Enterprise.

And then you can also assess how well all of the internal/external “provisioning systems/organizations” within and serving your Enterprise are doing in meeting the requirements.

And then fixes can be planned, assessed for ROI, prioritized and resourced. Including addressing any gaps in the T&D targeted at specific Learning/Performing Needs.

Here is the EPPI model for the Enterprise Asset Management Systems…a starting place for developing your own model.

Interested in learning more? Please contact me:

Guy W Wallace

mobile: 704- 746- 5126

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2 comments on “Developing Your EPPA to Enable Developing Your ECA

  1. Pingback: L&D: Serving PUSH and PULL Target Audiences | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: Examples of the Management Areas of Performance Model Applied « EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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