Meyerrose promotes EA through free advice

Enterprise architecture in the intelligence community is morphing from the tasks of building eye charts and imposing mandates and burdensome plans to providing a free and useful support function for mission owners, under the direction of Dale Meyerrose, the CIO of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Meyerrose's approach to spreading his EA philosophy starts from the assumption that architects should provide free and useful services to mission owners rather than imposing requirements and costs.

He seeks to change the culture that has grown up around the architecture process, partly by inserting members of his own staff into IT projects to support program managers who do not report to him.

Meyerrose concedes that changing the culture that has built up around enterprise architecture will take at least two budget cycles. 'But otherwise, you are like someone who has floated down the Potomac River on a log, and then floats away,' he said yesterday at an EA conference in Washington sponsored by the E-Gov Institute.

Meyerrose told attendees that he had briefed his boss, director of national intelligence John Negroponte, five times on the intelligence community's architecture without once using the word 'architecture.'

In his work of shaking up the intelligence community's architecture, Meyerrose suggests he has some heavy lifting to do. 'In the intelligence community, there has been enterprise architecture for years. But when I go to meetings of program managers, they say they didn't know there was one,' he said.

He noted that architecture advocates routinely call for senior leadership involvement in their projects, but tend to approach senior leaders in the role of zealots for their technology.

Meyerrose added that architecture builders within organizations tend to approach mission owners initially with data calls'or demands for information'and requirements that mission programs fit into architecture requirements, rather than offering help.

'You not only have to evangelize the senior managers, but also the palace guard,' Meyerrrose said, referring to the people who say, ' 'This is my information, I am going to make rules on how my information is going to be handled.' '

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