Conducting research is an undertaking to find answers and evidence to a question, problem, change or goal. It should be considered as a formal process that is support by some business rules but more importantly applies both qualitative and quantitative methods to provide valid, reliable and accurate findings. The findings should be unbiased and objective and presented in a away to allow consultation and verification by others.
Research has it application in several parts of enterprise architecture. Firstly and probably most importantly is the finding of evidence to support the strategic vision and goals for architectural development. Secondly as a means to endorse each stage of the development method by providing evidence to underpin target architectures and finally in the development of opportunities and solutions.
A method for research needs to be formal enough to qualify the findings but not to encumber the architect. There are however certain activities that should be followed to give validity to the research work.
- Controls should be applied to provide boundaries and focus the effort.
- A systematic process that breaks the effort down into precise stages.
- A consultation process to allow critical reviews of the findings.
- The means to provide an empirical conclusion in the form of a structured report that disseminates the information appropriately.