Since the perfect business is rare, and if found would not remain perfect for long, the enterprise architecture often results in some description of a desired reality that doesn’t yet exist. The exercise of getting from where we are today to that different, desired state needs directions; a roadmap. While the term is often applied to technology improvement exercises, it isn’t restricted to that. The enterprise architecture may describe a preferred organisation structure, changes to required roles and skills, or significant process change. Any advance from a current state to a future, better state can use a roadmap.

What is it? Generally an architectural roadmap will list and describe a number of strategic, high-level projects spanning several years that by effecting changes over time achieves the desired end state. How many projects, and how long, will depend on the extent of the change required, the resources available and the complexity of the change. A roadmap is usually kept at a high level to handle changes in priorities, or even changes to the target state as time goes by. As the timing for a planned project gets nearer, more detailed planning needs to take place, to flesh out the activity for its completion.