Would you change the Zachman Framework?

25 July 2007

In his recent blog at http://4thresource.evernden.net/  Roger Evernden asks ‘would you change the Zachman Framework?’.

Recently Zachman and Locke have been doing great stuff to update the Zachman Framework themselves and it always sounds great at conferences, but it isn’t enough I think.

Their problem is that is it has been a good earner for them and since it is now their brand they can not be seen to change it too dramatically.

My general thinking is that an EA framework is multi dimensional (perhaps at least the 8 dimensions introduced in the book ‘ Information First’) and that the Zachman Framework presents one of many views that are useful.

I think the main issue is that many people find the language of ZF doesn’t match the names they use for deliverables in their own environment.

Also ZF is seen as too theoretical and formal, which puts many people off.

Many are looking for a quick win, keeping it simple, just good enough, just in time. However in real life the devil is in the detail and a more complex solution is needed.

The Zachman Framework talks about primitives and composites. The primitive information is what is classified in the Zachman cells. However most people produce complex composite deliverables as long documents whcih relate more to what Zachman calls the composites.

What needs to be changed I think is to add an orthogonal view of the Zachman Framework that just shows the composites. A mapping between composites and the deliverables promoted by Prince 2, OGC and other project management processes would be a good start.

I’ll post some of my other thoughts on the Zachman Framework later on.


One Response to “Would you change the Zachman Framework?”

  1. ingine Says:

    The ‘primitives’ in the ZF are something that follow ‘reductionism’. Unfortunately business is a synthesis and exists as a landscape, which in itself is a composite sort. That cannot be reduced that easily into the objects. ZF follows set theory having firmly rooted on Cartesian Theory. Cartesian System proves to be an inadequate tool when dealing with complex system. As such ecludian geometry is when dealing with complexities that defy regular surfaces. ZF introduces Cartesian Dilemma. Please google ‘cartesian dilemma’. You will realize many discussions around this.

    This is my observation (www.ingine.com)

    While working the thoughts within the Cartesian System, interrogatives (who, when, why, what, where, etc) have been urged to discover the nature of existence. Although all the known interrogatives help in exacting the nature in a given time by building the answers into a classification scheme, it does not provide the overall holistic knowledge as it creates fragmented framework. This creates a Cartesian dilemma. Most IT systems have been built based on the subject – object – predicate clause that is in itself quite fragmented. It is because of this a newer mechanism is necessary to accurately define and describe the system from its implicate order and into its explicate order. It is worth noting that implicate order not only applies to describing the order of existence, it is also describes the underlying process. In a way it is an ontology with a built in process, that is connects everything in all the times and everywhere. Meaning it is catholic – all encompassing. What is implied here, is in addition to the conventional existing mechanisms that assist in the engineering, newer means must be sought to accurately understand the underlying underpinnings that drives the nature holistically.


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