Enterprise Architecture Framework

19 November 2004

An Enterprise Architecture Framework need to be very accessible.
I have found that find the original Zachman Framework matrix can be too complicated for some people.
In most cases I find that people accept the columns based on the six questions, who, what , where, how, when and why.
The column names are not always understood.
There is confusion about all the rows and in which cell to put the ings such as User Interfaces, Use Cases, Objects, Classes, Components and Services.
The original Zachman Framework betrays its Information Engineering legacy and needs updating.

Does a class belong in the Data or Function Column ?
Where does a Service belong ?

If we distinguish between an organisational service (performed by people) , an application service (performed by a software application) and an infrastructure service (performed by the hardware and infrastructure platform), then should we put each of these services into a different column ?

How do we map strategy aspects and the architecture discipline ?

In response to this I have created a matrix with two dimensions:

  • Levels of Abstraction {Strategy, Architecture, System and Operations}
  • Architectural Perspectives {Information Architecture, Process Architecture, Application Architecture, Technology Architecture, Organisation Architecture and Performance Architecture}

I have found this to be more aligned with organisation view points and common terminology.



2 Responses to “Enterprise Architecture Framework”

  1. stefan Says:

    Hi, I want to thank you for this very interessting Blog.
    But I have also some questions about it. You mentioned, that the Enterprise Architecture Framework (EAF) have to be accessible. My first Question is, tho whom? Doesn´t it have to be accessible for the “Architects”, cause he oder them have to use and understand this Tool? How do you define the term EAF and do you distinnguish between Typ 1 and Typ 2 EA Frameworks, like the ISO 15704 Standard does? Where Typ 1 EAF are for development and mainly dscription of the Enterprise Architecture as an Modell and Typ 2 EAF target Projects to change the EA with a life-cycle and /or in a life-cylce. Furthermore, can you report some Questions an Company or Organisations ask themselves before they choose any EAF? What do you think are the main criteria to choose an specific Framework. Thank You and Greetings from Germany.

  2. Enterprise Architecture is 40% communication.

    What I have often found is that new Enterprise Architect teams are explicitly replacing ad hoc IT management activities that used to be done by many different senor roles with an organisation. These may be board level management, business area managers, IT operations management, software development teams, Finance, QA, programme and project managers, strategy planners, security managers and so on, and each of them has their own views and viewpoints on the specific deliverables that they need to produce.

    Enterprise architecture explicitly replaces these disparate deliverables with a single repository.

    An enterprise architecture framework is a tool for communication and for organising these EA deliverables in such a way that all the stakeholders can intuitively understand what needs to be produced, and understand their role in the bigger picture.

    Accessibility means that to be successful the enterprise architecture framework has to be easy for each of these stakeholders to understand and support.

    For some reason, the Zachman Framework is often seen as too complex by many stakeholders, who prefer a simpler view that is tailored just for themselves. Consequently I usually develop an EA framework as a set of simple views with a simple overview framework and a number of different more specific EA framework Views for each stakeholder.

    The Archimate Framework is my favourite EA framework, to use for the simple overview framework, because I have found that it is popular with my clients.

    For details of Archimate, see http://www.telin.nl/NetworkedBusiness/Archimate/ART/index.html

    I will shortly be adding some examples of the views and diagrams that I have used, to my web site at http://iea.wikidot.com/

    I haven’t looked at ISO 15704, and don’t distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 EA frameworks. I’ll investigate this and post my thoughts about this in my blog.

    Concerning the criteria for selecting or developing an EA Framework one has to consider the information dimensions that are most important to the organisation and for each view that it used.

    Any EA framework view is usually presented as a matrix of two or three dimensions. For example the Zachman Framework is a two dimensional matrix of Stakeholder Perspectives (the rows) and the 6 interrogative questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How).
    An Enterprise Architecture framework can easily be designed with multiple dimensions, but it is only easy to visualise 2 or 3 dimensions at any one time.

    In his book, ‘Information First’, Roger Evernden has identified eight factors that are typically found in all enterprise architecture frameworks, including Zachman, FEAF, IAF, DoDAF/MoDAF, Archimate. These can be used to analyse and understand the most important criteria for selecting an EA framework.

    I recommend buying Roger’s excellent book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0750658584/qid=1056710694/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1_1/202-3841991-4021404) and reading his web site (http://www.evernden.net/content/evernden-eight.htm).

    I am currently available for consultancy assignments; for example to support the selection and design of an EA framework for your organisation.

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