Nilesh Kulkarni's Playbook for Enterprise Architecture Success

Nilesh Kulkarni's strategy offers a unique approach to establishing an effective EA framework within medium to large organizations.

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Nilesh Kulkarni, a seasoned IT leader with over two decades of experience, has been instrumental in redefining the role of Enterprise Architecture (EA) in organizations. His innovative approach has not only transformed the way EA functions but has also significantly impacted business outcomes.

The Challenge of Enterprise Architecture

Many organizations initially struggle with the concept of Enterprise Architecture, often embedding it within multiple technology teams. Nilesh Kulkarni recognizes this challenge and emphasizes the need for a dedicated EA function that goes beyond technical architecture.

As Kulkarni puts it, "The purpose of enterprise architecture is to co-create technology strategy, partnering with business and technology teams to drive the optimization of processes and technology tools across the enterprise."

A Unique Approach to Establishing Enterprise Architecture

Nilesh Kulkarni's strategy offers a unique approach to establishing an effective EA framework within medium to large organizations. His "90-day approach" provides a structured checklist for grounding the EA function, emphasizing the importance of understanding business strategy, existing IT capabilities, organizational structure, and cultural norms within the first 90 days.

This approach not only lays the groundwork for EA's impact on the business but also focuses on making a strong first impression, crucial for the long-term success of the function.

Emphasis on Measurement and Alignment

Kulkarni places significant emphasis on measuring the success of the EA function using the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework. By aligning business and EA objectives, he ensures that the EA function contributes to the tangible return on investment (ROI) while bridging the gap between business strategy, technology, and operations. The OKR framework enables teams to define measurable goals and track their outcomes, promoting engagement and negotiation to achieve clear and committed alignment across the enterprise.

Impact and Success Stories

Nilesh Kulkarni's approach has yielded tangible results, with other EA leaders streamlining enterprise business simplification initiatives and reducing the tool's footprint by 25-40%. His approach has fostered the development of minimum viable architecture, iterative product development, reference architecture, design thinking, agile scalability, and solution architecture best practices.

Mr. Kulkarni summarizes his approach by highlighting the role of EA in not just solving business problems but also investigating technological advancements to pivot investment decisions and develop a future-state business vision. His vision of making EA an essential part of democratization by being involved in strategic and operational improvement initiatives has reshaped the industry's perspective on EA.


Nilesh Kulkarni's impact on Enterprise Architecture is undeniable. His strategy has not only redefined the EA function but has also paved the way for a more cohesive and impactful role within organizations. By emphasizing the importance of the first 90 days, the OKR framework, and the alignment of business and EA views, Kulkarni has set a new standard for success in the realm of Enterprise Architecture.

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