Following is a transcript of part of the proceedings from The Open Group San Diego event in February – a panel discussion on The Synergy of Enterprise Architecture frameworks.
The following panel, which examines the synergy among the major Enterprise Architecture frameworks, consists of moderator Allen Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Open Group; Iver Bank, an Enterprise Architect at Cambia Health Solutions; Dr. Beryl Bellman, Academic Director, FEAC Institute; John Zachman, Chairman and CEO of Zachman International, and originator of the Zachman Framework; and Chris Forde, General Manager, Asia and Pacific Region and Vice President, Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group.
Here are some excerpts:
Iver Band: As an Enterprise Architect at Cambia Health Solutions, I have been working with the ArchiMate® Language for over four years now, both working with and on it in the ArchiMate® Forum. As soon as I discovered it in late 2010, I could immediately see, as an Enterprise Architect, how it filled an important gap.
It’s very interesting to see the perspective of John Zachman. I will briefly present how the ArchiMate Language allows you to fully support enterprise architecture using The Zachman Framework. So I am going to very briefly talk about enterprise architecture with the ArchiMate Language and The Zachman Framework.
What is the ArchiMate Language? Well, it’s a language we use for building understanding across disciplines in an organization and communicating and managing change. It’s a graphical notation with formal semantics. It’s a language.
It’s a framework that describes and relates the business, application, and technology layers of an enterprise, and it has extensions for modelling motivation, which includes business strategy, external factors affecting the organization, requirements for putting them altogether and for showing them from different stakeholder perspectives.
You can show conflicting stakeholder perspectives, and even politics. I’ve used it to model organizational politics that were preventing a project from going forward.
It has a rich set of techniques in its viewpoint mechanism for visualizing and analyzing what’s going on in your enterprise. Those viewpoints are tailored to different stakeholders. And, of course, ArchiMate®, like TOGAF®, is an open standard managed by The Open Group.
Taste of Archimate
This is just a taste of ArchiMate for people who haven’t seen it before. This is actually excerpted from the presentation my colleague Chris McCurdy and I are doing at this conference on Guiding Agile Solution Delivery with the ArchiMate Language.
What this shows is the Business and Application Layers of ArchiMate. It shows a business process at the top. Each process is represented by a symbol. It shows a data model of business objects, then, at the next layer, in yellow.
Below that, it shows a data model actually realized by the application, the actual data that’s being processed.
Below that, it shows an application collaboration, a set of applications working together, that reads and writes that data and realizes the business data model that our business processes use.
All in all, it presents a vision of an integrated project management toolset for a particular SDLC that uses the phases that you see across the top.
We are going to dissect this model, how you would build it, and how you would develop it in an agile environment in our presentation tomorrow.
I have done some analysis of The Zachman Framework, comparing it to the ArchiMate Language. What’s really clear is that ArchiMate supports enterprise architecture with The Zachman Framework. You see a rendering of The Zachman Framework and then you see a rendering of the components of the ArchiMate Language. You see the Business Layer, the Application Layer, the Technology Layer, its ability to express information, behavior, and structure, and then the Motivation and Implementation and Migration extensions.
So how does it support it? Well, there are two key things here. The first is that ArchiMate models answer the questions that are posed by The Zachman Framework columns.
For what: for Inventory. We are basically talking about what is in the organization. There are Business and Data Objects, Products, Contracts, Value, and Meaning.
For how: for process. We can model Business Processes and Functions. We can model Flow and Triggering Relationships between them.
Where: for the Distribution of our assets. We can model Locations, we can model Devices, and we can model Networks, depending on how you define Location within a network or within a geography.
For who: We can model Responsibility, with Business Actors, Collaborations, and Roles.
When: for Timing. We have Business Events, Plateaus of System Evolution, relatively stable systems states, and we have Triggering Relationships.
Why: We have a rich Motivation extension, Stakeholders, Drivers, Assessments, Principles, Goals, Requirements, etc., and we show how those different components influence and realize each other.
Finally, ArchiMate models express The Zachman Row Perspectives. For the contextual or boundary perspective, where Scope Lists are required, we can make catalogs of ArchiMate Concepts. ArchiMate has broad tool support, and in a repository-based tool, while ArchiMate is a graphical language, you can very easily take list of concepts, as I do regularly, and put them in catalog or metrics form. So it’s easy to come up with those Scope Lists.
Secondly, for the Conceptual area, the Business Model, we have a rich set of Business Layer Viewpoints. Like the top of the — that focus on the top of the diagram that I showed you; Business Processes, Actors, Collaborations, Interfaces, Business Services that are brought to market.
Then at the Logical Layer we have System. We have a rich set of Application Layer Viewpoints and Viewpoints that show how Applications use Infrastructure.
For Physical, we have an Infrastructure Layer, which can be used to model any type of Infrastructure: Hosting, Network, Storage, Virtualization, Distribution, and Failover. All those types of things can be modeled.
And for Configuration and Instantiation, the Application and Technology Layer Viewpoints are available, particularly more detailed ones, but are also important is the Mappings to standard design languages such as BPMN, UML and ERD. Those are straightforward for experienced modelers. We also have a white paper on using the ArchiMate language with UML. Thank you.
Dr. Beryl Bellman: I have been doing enterprise architecture for quite a long time, for what you call pre-enterprise architecture work, probably about 30 years, and I first met John Zachman well over 20 years ago.
In addition to being an enterprise architect I am also a University Professor at California State University, Los Angeles. My focus there is on Organizational Communications. While being a professor, I always have been involved in doing contract consulting for companies like Digital Equipment Corporation, ASK, AT&T, NCR, then Ptech.
About 15 years ago, a colleague of mine and I founded the FEAC Institute. The initial name for that was the Federal Enterprise Architecture Certification Institute, and then we changed it to Federated. It actually goes by both names.
The business driver of that was the Clinger–Cohen Bill in 1996 when it was mandated by government that all federal agencies must have an enterprise architecture.
And then around 2000, they began to enforce that regulation. My business partner at that time, Felix Rausch, and I felt that we need some certification in how to go about doing and meeting those requirements, both for the federal agencies and the Department of Defense. And so that’s when we created the FEAC Institute.
Beginning of FEAC
In our first course, we had the Executive Office of the President, US Department of Fed, which I believe was the first Department of the Federal Government that was hit by OMB which held up their budget for not having an enterprise architecture on file. So they were pretty desperate, and that began the first of the beginning of the FEAC.
Since that time, a lot of people have come in from the commercial world and from international areas. And the idea of FEAC was that you start off with learning how to do enterprise architecture. In a lot of programs, including TOGAF, you sort of have to already know a little bit about enterprise architecture, the hermeneutical circle. You have to know what it is to know.
In FEAC we had a position that you want to provide training and educating in how to do enterprise architecture that will get you from a beginning state to be able to take full responsibility for work doing enterprise architecture in a matter of three months. It’s associated with the California State University System, and you can get, if you so desire, 12 graduate academic units in Engineering Management that can be applied toward a degree or you can get continuing education units.
So that’s how we began that. Then, a couple of years ago, my business partner decided he wanted to retire, and fortunately there was this guy named John Zachman, who will never retire. He’s a lot younger than all of us in this room, right? So he purchased the FEAC Institute.
I still maintain a relationship with it as Academic Director, in which primarily my responsibilities are as a liaison to the universities. My colleague, Cort Coghill, is sort of the Academic Coordinator of the FEAC Institute.
FEAC is an organization that also incorporates a lot of the training and education programs of Zachman International, which includes managing the FEAC TOGAF courses, as well as the Zachman certified courses, which we will tell you more about.
‘m just a little bit surprised by this idea, the panel, the way we are constructed here, because I didn’t have a presentation. I’m doing it off the top, as you can see. I was told we are supposed to have a panel discussion about the synergies of enterprise architecture. So I prepared in my mind the synergies between the different enterprise architectures that are out there.
For that, I just wanted to make a strong point. I wanted to talk about synergy like a bifurcation between on the one hand, “TOGAF and Zachman” as being standing on one side, whereas the statement has been made earlier this morning and throughout the meeting is “TOGAF and.”
Likewise, we have Zachman, and it’s not “Zachman or, but it’s ‘Zachman and.” Zachman provides that ontology, as John talks about it in his periodic table of basic elements of primitives through which we can constitute any enterprise architecture. To attempt to build an architecture out of composites and then venting composites and just modeling you’re just getting a snapshot in time and you’re really not having an enterprise architecture that is able to adapt and change. You might be able to have a picture of it, but that’s all you really have.
That’s the power of The Zachman Framework. Hopefully, most of you will attend our demonstration this afternoon and a workshop where we are actually going to have people work with building primitives and looking at the relationship of primitives, the composites with a case study.
On the other side of that, Schekkerman wrote something about the forest of architectural frameworks and getting lost in that. There are a lot of enterprise architectural frameworks out there.
I’m not counting TOGAF, because TOGAF has its own architectural content metamodel, with its own artifacts, but those does not require one to use the artifacts in the architectural content metamodel. They suggest that you can use DoDAF. You can use MODAF. You can use commercial ones like NCR’s GITP. You can use any one.
Those are basically the competing models. Some of them are commercial-based, where organizations have their own proprietary stamps and the names of the artifacts, and the wrong names for it, and others want to give it its own take.
I’m more familiar nowadays with the governmental sectors. For example, FEAF, Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework Version 2. Are you familiar with that? Just go on the Internet, type in FEAF v2. Since Scott Bernard has been the head, he is the Chief Architect for the US Government at the OMB, he has developed a model of enterprise architecture, what he calls the Architecture Cube Model, which is an iteration off of John’s, but he is pursuing a cube form rather than a triangle form.
Also, for him the FEAF-II, as enterprise architecture, fits into his FEAF-II, because at the top level he has the strategic plans of an organization.
It goes down to different layers, but then, at one point, it drops off and becomes not only a solution, but it gets into the manufacturing of the solution. He has these whole series of artifacts that pertain to these different layers, but at the lower levels, you have a computer wiring closet diagram model, which is a little bit more detailed than what we would consider to be at a level of enterprise architecture.
Then you have the MODAF, the DoDAF, and all of these other ones, where a lot of those compete with each other more on the basis of political choices.
With the MODAF, the British obviously don’t want to use DoDAF, they have their own, but they are very similar to each other. One view, the acquisition view, differs from the project view, but they do the same things. You can define them in terms of each other.
Then there is the Canadian, NAF, and all that, and they are very similar. Now, we’re trying to develop the unified MODAF, DoDAF, and NAF architecture, UPDM, which is still in its planning stages. So we are moving toward a more integrated system.
Allen Brown: Let’s move on to some of the questions that folks are interested in. Moving away from what the frameworks are, there is a question here. How does enterprise architecture take advantage of the impact of new emerging technologies like social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and so on?
John A Zachman: The change can take place in the enterprise either from the top, where we change the context of the enterprise, or from the bottom, where we change the technologies.
So technology is expressed in the context of the enterprise, what I would call Rule 4, and that’s the physical domain. And it’s the same way in any other — the building architecture, the airplane architecture, or anything. You can implement the logic, the as-designed logic, in different technologies.
Whatever the technology is, I made an observation that you want to engineer for flexibility. You separate the independent variables. So you separate the logic at Rule 3 from the physics of Rule 4, and then you can change Rule 4 without changing Rule 3. Basically that’s the idea, so you can accommodate whatever the emerging technologies are.
Bellman: I would just continue with that. I agree with John. Thinking about the synergy between the different architectures, basically every enterprise architecture contains, or should contain, considerations of those primitives. Then, it’s a matter of which a customer wants, which a customer feels comfortable with? Basically as long as you have those primitives defined, then you essentially can use any architecture. That constitute the synergy between the architectures.
Band: I agree with what’s been said. It’s also true that I think that one of the jobs of an enterprise architect is to establish a view of the organization that can be used to promote understanding and communicate and manage change. With cloud-based systems, they are generally based on metadata, and the major platforms, like Salesforce.com as an example. They publish their data models and their APIs.
So I think that there’s going to be a new generation of systems that provide a continuously synchronized, real-time view of what’s going on in the enterprise. So the architectural model will model this in the future, where things need to go, and they will do analyses, but we will be using cloud, big data, and even sensor technologies to understand the state of the enterprise.
Bellman: In the DoDaF 2.0, when that initially came out, I think it was six years ago or so, they have services architecture, a services view, and a systems view. And one of the points they make within the context, not as a footnote, is that they expect the systems view to sort of disappear and there will be a cloud view that will take its place. So I think you are right on that.
Chris Forde: The way I interpreted the question was, how does EA or architecture approach the things help you manage disruptive things? And if you accept the idea that enterprise architecture actually is a management discipline, it’s going to help you ask the right questions to understand what you are dealing with, where it should be positioned, what the risks and value proposition is around those particular things, whether that’s the Internet of Things, cloud computing, or all of these types of activities.
So going back to the core of what Terry’s presentation was about is a decision making framework with informed questions to help you understand what you should be doing to either mitigate the risk, take advantage of the innovation, and deploy the particular thing in a way that’s useful to your business. That’s the way I read the question.
Impact of sensors
Band: Just to reinforce what Chris says, as an enterprise architect in healthcare, one of the things that I am looking at very closely is the evaluation of the impact of health sensor technology. Gartner Group says that by 2020, the average lifespan in a developed country will be increased by six months due to mobile health monitoring.
And so there are vast changes in the whole healthcare delivery system, of which my company is at the center as a major healthcare payer and investor in all sorts of healthcare companies. I use enterprise architecture techniques to begin to understand the impact of that and show the opportunities to our health insurance business.
Brown: If you think about social and mobile and you look at the entire enterprise architecture, now you are starting to expand that beyond the limits of the organization, aren’t you? You’re starting to look at, not just the organization and the ecosystem, your business partners, but you are also looking at the impact of bringing mobile devices into the organization, of managers doing things on their own with cloud that wasn’t part of the architecture. You have got the relationship with consumers out there that are using social and mobile. How do you capture all of that in enterprise architecture?
Forde: Allen, if I had the answer to that question I would form my own business and I would go sell it.
Back in the day, when I was working in large organizations, we were talking about the extended enterprise, that kind of ecosystem view of things. And at that time the issue was more problematic. We knew we were in an extended ecosystem, but we didn’t really have the technologies that effectively supported it.
The types of technologies that are available today, the ones that The Open Group has white papers about — cloud computing, the Internet of Things, this sort of stuff — architectures can help you classify those things. And the technologies that are being deployed can help you track them, and they can help you track them not as documents of the instance, but of the thing in real time that is talking to you about what its state is, and what its future state will be, and then you have to manage that information in vast quantities.
So an architecture can help you within your enterprise understand those things and it can help you connect to other enterprises or other information sources to allow you to make sense of all those things. But again, it’s a question of scoping, filtering, making sense, and abstracting — that key phrase that John pointed out earlier, of abstracting this stuff up to a level that is comprehensible and not overwhelming.
Brown: So Iver, at Cambia Health, you must have this kind of problem now, mustn’t you?
Band: That’s exactly what I am doing. I am figuring out what will be the impact of certain technologies and how our businesses can use them to differentiate and provide value.
In fact, I was just on a call this morning with JeffSTAT, because the whole ecosystem is changing, and we know that healthcare is really changing. The current model is not financially sustainable, and there is also tremendous amount of waste in our healthcare system today. The executives of our company say that about a third of the $2.7 trillion and rising spent on healthcare in the US doesn’t do anyone any good.
There’s a tremendous amount of IT investment in that, and that requires architecture to tie it altogether. It has to do with all the things ranging from the logic with which we edit claims, to the follow-up we provide people with particularly dangerous and consequently expensive diseases. So there is just a tremendous amount going through an enterprise architecture. It’s necessary to have a coherent narrative of what the organization needs to do.
Bellman: One thing we all need to keep in mind is even more dynamic than that, if you believe even a little bit of Kurzweil’s possibilities is that — are people familiar with Ray Kurzweil’s ‘The Singularity Is Near’ — 2037 will be around the singularly between computers and human beings.
So I think that the wrap where he argues that the amount of change is not linear but exponential, and so in a sense you will never catch up, but you need an architecture to manage that.
Zachman: The way we deal with complexity is through classification. I suggest that there is more than one way to classify things. One is one-dimensional classification, taxonomy, or hierarchy, in effect, decompositions, one-dimensional classification, and that’s really helpful for manufacturing. From an engineering standpoint of a two-dimensional classification, where we have classified things so that they are normalized, one effect in one place.
Then if you have the problems identified, you can postulate several technology changes or several changes and simulate the various implications of it.
The whole reason why I do architecture has to do with change. You deal with extreme complexity and then you have to accommodate extreme change. There is no other way to deal with it. Humanity, for thousands of years, has not been able to figure out a better way to deal with complexity and change other than architecture.
Forde: Maybe we shouldn’t apply architecture to some things.
For example, maybe the technologies or the opportunity is so new, we need to have the decision-making framework that says, you know what, let’s not try and figure out all this, just to self-control their stuff in advance, okay? Let’s let it run and see what happens, and then when it’s at the appropriate point for architecture, let’s apply it, this is a more organic view of the way nature and life works than the enterprise view of it.
So what I am saying is that architecture is not irrelevant in that context. It’s actually there is a part of the decision-making framework to not architect something at this point in time because it’s inappropriate to do so.
Funding and budgeting
Band: Yeah, I agree that wholeheartedly. If it can’t be health solutions, we are a completely agile shop. All the technology development is on the same sprint cycle, and we have three-week sprints, but we also have certain things that are still annual and wonderful like funding and budgeting.
We live in a tension. People say, well, what are you going to do, what budget do you need, but at the same time, I haven’t figured everything out. So I am constantly living in that gap of what do I need to meet a certain milestone to get my project funded, and what do I need to do to go forward? Obviously, in a fully agile organization, all those things would be fluid. But then there’s financial reporting, and we would also have to be fluid too. So there are barriers to that.
For instance, the Scaled Agile Framework, which I think is a fascinating thing, has a very clear place for enterprise architecture. As Chris said, you don’t want to do too much of it in advance. I am constantly getting the gap between how can I visualize what’s going to happen a year out and how can I give the development teams what they need for the sprint. So I am always living in that paradox.
Bellman: The Gartner Group, not too long ago, came up with the concept of emerging enterprise architecture and what we are dealing with. Enterprises don’t exist like buildings. A building is an object, but an enterprise is a group of human beings communicating with one another.
As a very famous organizational psychologist Karl Weick once pointed out, “The effective organization is garrulous, clumsy, superstitious, hypocritical, mostrous, octopoid, wandering, and grouchy.” Why? Because an organization is continually adapting, continually changing, and continually adapting to the changing business and technological landscape.
To expect anything other than that is not having a realistic view of the enterprise. It is emerging and it is a continually emerging phenomena. So in a sense, having an architecture concept I would not contest, but architecting is always worthwhile. It’s like it’s an organic phenomena, and that in order to deal with that what we can also understand and have an architecture for organic phenomena that change and rapidly adapt.
Brown: Chris, where you were going follows the lines of what great companies do, right?
There is a great book published about 30 years ago called ‘In Search of Excellence.’ If you haven’t read it, I suggest that people do. Written by Peters and Waterman, and Tom Peters has tried for ever since to try and recreate something with that magic, but one of the lessons learned was what great companies do, is something that goes simultaneous loose-tight properties. So you let somethings be very tightly controlled, and other things as are suggesting, let them flourish and see where they go before I actually box them in. So that’s a good thought.
So what do we think, as a panel, about evolving TOGAF to become an engineering methodology as well as a manufacturing methodology?
Zachman: I really think it’s a good idea.
Brown: Chris, do you have any thoughts on that?
Forde: I think it’s an interesting proposal and I think we need to look at it fairly seriously. The Open Group approach to things is, don’t lock people into a specific way of thinking, but we also advocate disciplined approach to doing things. So I would susspect that we are going to be exploring John’s proposal pretty seriously.
Brown: You mentioned in your talk that decision-making process is a precondition, the decision-making process to govern IT investments, and the question that comes in is how about other types of investments including facilities, inventory and acquisitions?
Forde: The wording of the presentation was very specific. Most organizations have a process or decision-making framework on an annual basis or quarterly whatever the cycles are for allocation of funding to do X, Y or Z. So the implication wasn’t that IT was the only space that it would be applied.
However, the question is how effective is that decision-making framework? In many organizations, or in a lot of organizations, the IT function is essentially an enterprise-wide activity that’s supporting the financial activities, the plant activities, these sorts of things. So you have the P&Ls from those things flowing in some way into the funding that comes to the IT organization.
The question is, when there are multiple complexities in an organization, multiple departments with independent P&Ls, they are funding IT activities in a way that may not be optimized, may or may not be optimized. For the architects, in my view, one of the avenues for success is in inserting yourself into that planning cycle and influencing, because normally the architecture team does not have direct control over the spend, but influencing how that spend goes.
Over time gradually improving the enterprise’s ability to optimize and make effective the funding it applies for IT to support the rest of the business.
Zachman: Yeah, I was just wondering, you’ve got to make observation.
Band: I agree, I think that the battle to control shadow IT has been permanently lost. We are in a technology obsessed society. Every department wants to control some technology and even develop it to their needs. There are some controls that you do have, and we do have some, but we have core health insurance businesses that are nearly a 100 years old.
Cambia is constantly investing and acquiring new companies that are transforming healthcare. Cambia has over a 100 million customers all across the country even though our original business was a set of regional health plans.
You can’t possibly rationalize all of everything I want you to pay for on that thing. It is incumbent upon the architects, especially the senior ones, to build relationships with the people in these organizations and make sure everything is synergetic.
Many years ago, there was a senior architect. I asked him what he did, and he said, “Well, I’m just the glue. I go to a lot of meetings.” There are deliverables and deadlines too, but there is a part of consistently building the relationships and noticing things, so that when there is time to make a decision or someone needs something, it gets done right.
Zachman: I was in London when Bank of America got bought by NationsBank, and it was touted as the biggest banking merger in the history of the banking industry.
Actually it wasn’t a merger, it was an acquisition NationsBank acquired Bank of America and then changed the name to Bank of America. There was a London paper that was observing that the headline you always see is, “The biggest merger in the history of the industry.” The headline you never see is, “This merger didn’t work.”
The cost of integrating the two enterprises exceeded the value of the acquisition. Therefore, we’re going to have to break this thing up in pieces and sell off the pieces as surreptitiously as possible, so nobody will notice that we buried any accounting notes someplace or other. You never see that article. You’ll only see the one about the biggest merger.
If I was the CEO and my strategy was to grow by acquisition, I would get really interested in enterprise architecture. Because you have to be able to anticipate the integration of the cost, if you want to merge two enterprises. In fact, you’re changing the scope of the enterprise. I have talked a little bit about the role on models, but you are changing the scope. As soon as you change a scope, you’re now going to be faced with an integration issue.
Therefore you have to make a choice, scrap and rework. There is no way, after the fact, to integrate parts that don’t fit together. So you’re gong to be faced a decision whether you want to scrap and rework or not. I would get really interested in enterprise architecture, because that’s what you really want to know before you make the expenditure. You acquire and obviously you’ve already blown out all the money. So now you’ve got a problem.
Once again, if I was the CEO and I want to grow by acquisition or merger acquisition, I would get really interested in enterprise architecture.
Beryl Bellman: One of the big problems we are addressing here is also the cultural and political problems of organizations or enterprises. You could have the best design type of system, and if people and politics don’t agree, there are going to be these kind of conflicts.
I was involved in my favorite projects at consulting. I was involved in consulting with NCR, who was dealing with Hyundai and Samsung and trying to get them together at a conjoint project. They kept fighting with each other in terms of knowledge management, technology transfer, and knowledge transfer. My role of it was to do an architecture of that whole process.
It was called RIAC Research Institute in Computer Technology. On one side of the table, you had Hyundai and Samsung. On the other side of the table, you had NCR. They were throwing PowerPoint slides back and forth at each other. I brought up that the software we used at that time was METIS, and METIS modeled all the processes, everything that was involved.
Samsung said you just hit it with a 2×4. I used to be demonstrating it, rather than tossing out slides, here are the relationships, and be able to show that it really works. To me that was a real demonstration that I can even overcome some of the politics and cultural differences within enterprises.
Brown: I want to give one more question. I think this is more of a concern that we have raised in some people’s minds today, which is, we are talking about all these different frameworks and ontologies, and so there is a first question.
The second one is probably the key one that we are looking at, but it asks what does each of the frameworks lack, what are the key elements that are missing, because that leads on to the second question that says, isn’t needing to understand old enterprise architecture frameworks is not a complex exercise for a practitioner?
Band: My job is not about understanding frameworks. I have been doing enterprises solution architecture in HP at a standard and diversified financial services company and now at health insurance and health solutions company out for quite a while, and it’s really about communicating and understanding in a way that’s useful to your stakeholders.
The frameworks about creating shared understanding of what we have and where are we going to go, and the frameworks are just a set of tools that you have in your toolbox that most people don’t understand.
So the idea is not to understand everything but to get a set of tools, just like a mechanic would, that you carry around that you use all the time. For instance, there are certain types of ArchiMate views that I use when I am in a group. I will draw an ArchiMate business process view with application service use of the same. What are the business processes you need to be and what are the exposed application behaviors that they need to consume?
I had that discussion with people on the business who are in IT, and we drove those diagrams. That’s a useful tool, it works for me, it works for the people around me, it works in my culture, but there is no understanding over frameworks unless that’s your field of study. They are all missing the exact thing you need for a particular interaction, but most likely there is something in there that you can base the next critical interaction on.
Zachman: I spent most of my life thinking about my frameworks. There are six questions you have to answer to have a complete description of whatever it is, what I will describe, what, how, where, who, and why. So that’s complete.
The philosophers have established six transformations interestingly enough, the transfer of idea into an instantiation, so that’s a complete set, and I did not invent either one of these, so the six interrogatives. They have the six stages of transformation and that framework has to, by definition, accommodate any factor that’s relevant to the existence of the object of the enterprise. Therefore any fact has to be classifiable in that structure.
My framework is complete in that regard. For many years, I would have been reluctant to make a categorical statement, but we exercised this, and there is no anomaly. I can’t find an anomaly. Therefore I have a high level of confidence that you can classify any fact in that context.
There is one periodic table. There are n different compound manufacturing processes. You can manufacture anything out of the periodic table. That metaphor is really helpful. There’s one enterprise architecture framework ontology. I happened to stumble across, by accident, the ontology for classifying all of the facts relevant to an enterprise.
I wish I could tell you that I was so smart and understood all of these things at the beginning, but I knew nothing about this, I just happened to stumble across it. The framework fell on my desk one day and I saw the pattern. All I did was I put enterprise names on the same pattern for descriptive representation of anything. You’ve heard me tell quite a bit of the story this afternoon. In terms of completeness I think my framework is complete. I can find no anomalies and you can classify anything relative to that framework.
And I agree with Iver, that there are n different tools you might want to use. You don’t have to know everything about every framework. One thing is, whatever the tool is that you need to deal with and out of the context of the periodic table metaphor, the ontological construct of The Zachman Framework, you can accommodate whatever artifacts the tool creates.
You don’t have to analyze every tool, whatever tool is necessary, if you want to do with business architecture, you can create whatever the business architecture manifestation is. If you want to know what DoDAF is, you can create the DoDAF artifacts. You can create any composite, and you can create any compound from the periodic table. It’s the same idea.
I wouldn’t spend my life trying to understand all these frameworks. You have to operate the enterprise, you have to manage the enterprise and whatever the tool is, it’s required to do whatever it is that you need to do and there is something good about everything and nothing necessarily does everything.
So use the tool that’s appropriate and then you can create whatever the composite constructs are required by that tool out of the primitive components of the framework. I wouldn’t try to understand all the frameworks.
Forde: On a daily basis there is a line of people at these conferences coming to tell me what’s missing from TOGAF. Recently we conducted a survey through the Association of Enterprise Architects about what people needed to see. Basically the stuff came back pretty much, please give us more guidance that’s specific to my situation, a recipe for how to solve world hunger, or something like that. We are not in the role of providing that level of prescriptive detail.
The value side of the equation is the flexibility of the framework to a certain degree to allow many different industries and many different practitioners drive value for their business out of using that particular tool.
So some people will find value in the content metamodel in the TOGAF Framework and the other components of it, but if you are not happy with that, if it doesn’t meet your need, flip over to The Zachman Framework or vice versa.
John made it very clear earlier that the value in the framework that he has built throughout his career and has been used repeatedly around the world is its rigor, it’s comprehensiveness, but he made very clear, it’s not a method. There is nothing in there to tell you how to go do it.
So you could criticize The Zachman Framework for a lack of method or you could spend your time talking about the value of it as a very useful tool to get X, Y, and Z done.
From a practitioner’s standpoint, what one practitioner does is interesting in a value, but if you have a practice between 200 and 400 architects, you don’t want everybody running around like a loose cannon doing it their way, in my opinion. As a practice manager or leader you need something that makes those resources very, very effective. And when you are in a practice of that size, you probably have a handful of people trying to figure out how the frameworks come together, but most of the practitioners are tasked with taking what the organization says is their best practice and executing on it.
We are looking at improving the level of guidance provided by the TOGAF material, the standard and guidance about how to do specific scenarios.
For example, how to jumpstart an architecture practice, how to build a secure architecture, how to do business architecture well? Those are the kinds of things that we have had feedback on and we are working on around that particular specification.
Brown: So if you are employed by the US Department of Defense you would be required to use DoDAF, if you are an enterprise architect, because of the views it provides. But people like Terri Blevins that did work in the DoD many years, used TOGAF to populate DoDAF. It’s a method, and the method is the great strength.
If you want to have more information on that, there are a number of white papers on our website about using TOGAF with DoDAF, TOGAF with COBIT, TOGAF with Zachman, TOGAF with everything else.
Forde: TOGAF with frameworks, TOGAF with buy in, the thing to look at is the ecosystem of information around these frameworks is where the value proposition really is. If you are trying to bootstrap your standards practice inside, the framework is of interest, but applied use, driving to the value proposition for your business function is the critical area to focus on.
The panel, which examined the synergy among the major EA frameworks, consists of moderator Allen Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Open Group; Iver Bank, an Enterprise Architect, Cambia Health Solutions; Dr. Beryl Bellman, Academic Director, FEAC Institute; John Zachman, Chairman and CEO of Zachman International, and originator of the Zachman Framework; and Chris Forde, General Manager, Asia and Pacific Region and Vice President, Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group.
Transcript available here.
Join the conversation @theopengroup #ogchat
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People may ask why no one mentioned the most useful and fastest growing EA framework on the market today.
Perhaps because the discussion was not
“Synergy Among Major Frameworks in Enterprise Architecture”
but was in fact
“Let’s put TOGAF at the centre of the EA world (even though it’s not an EA framework) and then talk about things around it that would cause people looking at those other things to go on a TOGAF course.”
Chris Forde’s remarks are right on the mark. Zachman’s was a bunch of obscure claims that I think are widely off the mark. I’m surprised more people do not call him out on his over-reaching claims about his ontology. For someone to claim they have created a periodic table for addressing any possible issue in any enterprise is beyond nonsense.
Stakeholders can have so many more concerns with Zachman’s 36 cells could ever begin to address, but more than that, many people can’t even understand all the ivory tower language that in fact turns people off to EA. If one can figure out what Zachman is saying under all the obscure language, it could be one of many sanity checks, but it would be a huge mistake to try and actually do EA with the delusion that one can do it with the Zachman Framework alone.
Also, it is a great idea to be well-informed about EA frameworks and architecture description languages to see how they can help you, whether with aspects of method or language, address the wicked problem of transforming business capability in the modern world. As Forde pointed out, one must necessarily tailor TOGAF since it is generic, so this leaves a lot of room for connections to other useful perspectives.
Personally, I am a fan of Iver Band’s strong linkage of TOGAF and ArchiMate, as well as his having demonstrated that one can rather easily address the questions and perspectives related to the Zachman Framework by using ArchiMate.
Finally, I think most people could benefit a great deal from learning both TOGAF and ArchiMate, even concurrently, something a large company just did with great feedback about how they now have a great foundation to add value with, increasingly as they mature, in light of a major M&A challenge.
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