An apparently open question on LinkedIn about the definition of EA turned out to be a closed one.\u00a0 Shame.\u00a0 It was a good question and I stayed up late to answer it.\u00a0 I enjoy openly exploring with others subjects that I care about.\u00a0 "Mutual thought leadership"\u00a0as one of my clients called\u00a0it.\u00a0 So when\u00a0an apparently open question came up on LinkedIn about the value and meaning of "Enterprise Architecture", I reprioritized my evening to offer a contribution (i.e. delayed going to bed).\u00a0 Unfortunatly, I woke up this morning to find the question wasn't open after all.Here is the question, paraphrased as I am now going to ask it of you:Do you think we need to have a universally agreed definition of Enterprise Architecture?\u00a0 \u00a0If so what do you think it should be, in one sentence, and why?For clarity, I'm asking about the definition of EA as a discipline, rather than the definition of "an Enterprise Architecture".So I don't fall into the trap that the LinkedIn questioner did, not revealing that\u00a0the question was a closed one until people had started\u00a0openly exploring it, here is my answer.\u00a0 But I'm equally interested in yours.\u00a0 I don't think that we need a universally agreed definition of EA.\u00a0 But we do need to know what other people, especially business executives,\u00a0think its two component words mean, then convey the value - in terms those people will appreciate - of putting the two words together.\u00a0 The terms "Enterprise" and "Architecture" have longstanding definitions, both in English and in disciplines such as Economics, construction and others. Re-using these definitions (re-use being a core principle of EA), seems a good place to start.One of the issues that EA faces is that many of its spokespeople seem instead to disregard or overrule these definitions, in particular by supposing that "Enterprise" has something to do with technology or even more narrowly, IT. That does more harm to the reputation and clarity of EA than the lack of a universal definition of the value of combining these terms.\u00a0 In one company I recently worked with, IT represents only 21 percent of its structural (not total) operating costs, so while IT is a material\u00a0element of an enterprises's "architecture", making EA IT-specific seems to be missing the big picture from the start.In my Oxford Dictionary, Enterprise is "An undertaking, especially a bold or difficult one; readiness to be involved in such undertakings". In my pocket Economist it is "One of the Factors of Production, along with Land, Labour and Capital. The Animal Spirits of the Entrepreneur." Similarly, in my Dictionary, Architecture is "the art or science of designing and constructing buildings; a style of building." So, rather than reinvent the wheel by coming up with new definitions for EA's component words, let's see what happens if I\u00a0re-use and combine these existing ones. Does something of value\u00a0emerge?\u00a0 "The art or science of designing and constructing undertakings, especially bold or difficult ones, and of the readiness to be involved in them; the style of such undertakings." "Undertakings" seems a bit woolly, but in the world of business, concrete examples include an entire corporation, a strategy, a business unit, a joint venture, a program or a project.\u00a0 That does it for me.\u00a0 I'd rather be doing than defining,\u00a0and this definition based on re-use already offers me a huge opportunity to make a difference.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0So that is my answer to the question, what I think Enterprise Architecture is in one sentence and why.\u00a0 But what do you think?