Chief Architect, QRS, Canada
The latest Open Group member spotlight focuses on Jason Uppal, one of The Open Group’s Architecture Forum, TOGAF® Certification Standing Committee, TOGAF Development Team and Open CA Certification Board Members, as well as Chief Architect at QRS. In the following interview Mr. Uppal relates how his affiliation with The Open Group has benefited his professional experiences and why he feels membership in The Open Group has and will continue to enrich the IT end-user community at large.
Q: How many years have you personally been actively involved with The Open Group?
A: We joined The Open Group in 2005. I had been interested in Enterprise Architecture for many years and The Open Group permitted me to become actively involved in various forums and working groups that were close to my heart.
Q: Why did your organization become a Member of The Open Group?
A: QRS has been providing enterprise architecture, portfolio management and IT service management services to a wide range of clients based on our own proprietary methodologies. In 2004, the organization realized that its customers were leaning towards methods that were based on industry best practice so we decided to back all our EALC services onto TOGAF, PMI, ITIL and OCM. That is when we became involved The Open Group.
Q: What key forums/initiatives are you personally involved with at The Open Group?
A: I have been involved with the Architecture Forum from the beginning and will be joining the UDEF working group. In addition to these working groups, I have been involved with the TOGAF Certification working group, the TOGAF Development team and Open CA certification Boards.
QRS also helped open and is a sponsor for the first Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA) chapter which is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. To date, the Toronto Chapter has held two successful one day sessions. Each session involved six executive speakers to provide a forum for thought leadership and to share best practices among architecture practitioners and their working partners, Project Managers.
Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited your organization and the industry at large?
A: QRS’ message has been that Enterprise Architecture effort must always lead to a tangible business outcome. To many, this can seem to be a motherhood statement but the work of The Open Group also echoes this theme. This level of appreciation provides vital support to firms such as QRS that can now show a real path to getting results. To reiterate, Enterprise Architecture is not about models but solutions to real business challenges. Since adopting TOGAF methods, it has made it much easier for QRS to convince organizations that it employs industry best practices, methods that are based on community work and not proprietary.
The Open Group has provided a framework for QRS architects to publish case studies, white papers and to demonstrate our expertise on a wide range of subjects.
We now have the opportunity to share client issues and to engage The Open Group membership in order to define the problem domain and any possible solution options.
Also, through the AEA we can provide continuous education and training to organizations in Southern Ontario, Canada.
Q: What key contributions have you and/or your organization made to The Open Group?
A: Within The Open Group, as a relatively new member (2005) we have been able to contribute to the Open CA certification program and TOGAF development.
In the community, we have committed to expand the breadth of The Open Group community by providing TOGAF training, supporting the AEA chapter, and promoting Enterprise Architecture support to clients using The Open Group philosophy. Our customers view this very positively which increases the visibility of The Open Group worldwide.
Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?
A: There are several reasons for organizations to join The Open Group.
The Open Group provides an extremely rich resource base of standards, best practices and thought leadership position papers. These documents provide insight into problem domains, potential solution frameworks and best practices, without a specific technology platform slant.
To really apply best practices, one needs to understand the problem statement and the current situation. Only then can one tailor industry practices to suite his/her own needs. As the saying goes “somebody else’s best practices are not your own best practices”. To facilitate the adoption of industry best practices, The Open Group provides a forum to share insight in “a safe place to learn” type of environment. There are no experts here. There is a mutual respect as everyone understands the problem from their own perspective. This leaves a lot of room to learn from one another.
As a member, you can ask the community to work on a specific business problem that is within your industry or even within your organization. The Open Group provides a forum for that.
Most organizations profess the fact that their people resources are their best asset. The Open Group is all about developing the expertise of their people through a shared leaning environment.
Because it is a non profit consortium, it can offer these great services at a very attractive cost structure, which is a fraction of what one might pay at other research organizations.
About Jason Uppal
Jason Uppal, P.Eng. was the first Master IT Architect certified by The Open Group, by direct review, in October 2005. At that point, Jason had been chief architect of QR Systems Inc (www.quickresponse.ca) for six years and had been providing senior Enterprise Architecture services. He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduate degree in Economics and a post graduate diploma in Computer Science.
Jason’s commitment to Enterprise Architecture Life Cycle (EALC) has led him to focus on training (TOGAF), education (UOIT) and mentoring services to his clients as well as being the responsible individual for both Architecture and Portfolio & Project Management for a number of major projects.
Jason has found that education is only beneficial to those companies who can industrialize the EALC process – staff must be able to implement what they have learned. To that end, he lead a team of java software developers to develop an end to end industrialization product which encapsulates Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio and Project Management, Project Management and IT Services Management processes. Implementing this software product, ITO, (www.itoProcesses.com.) permits companies to take full advantage of TOGAF and any other custom processes which might already be in place within their organization