Are Standards “The Turning Point” for Agility?

 By Stephanie Ramsay, Associate Director, Enterprise Architecture & Strategy

I consider open standards a huge time saver when getting started on any architecture engagement. I would like to start a conversation here about the use of architecture standards for agility in a digital transformation. In the comments, would you please answer the following question?:

Which standards have you tried using, to solve which problems, and what benefits did you receive? 

To get this started, here are some of the standards we opted to include in a book I recently co-authored with Kees van Brink and Sylvain Marie called, “The Turning Point: A Novel about Agile Architects Building a Digital Foundation.” The novel tells the story of Enterprise Architects and other characters in a company who recently went through a merger and who use several standards together to accelerate a Digital Transformation, including these standards from The Open Group:

 Here are a few examples of how I use standards:

I use a reference architecture like the IT4IT™ Standard as my starting blueprint and modify it to be specific for my company to represent the digital product lifecycle and how information should flow.  The IT4IT Reference Architecture is also a great help in tool rationalization to map the tools in use across the digital product lifecycle to see where there is redundancy to simplify the landscape.

I also use the TOGAF® Standard to give me ideas for my architecture artifacts, which typically include a stakeholder map, a baseline diagram, and a target diagram as well as the gaps and opportunities between the baseline and target.  The ArchiMate® Specification is my go-to for modeling value streams and the business capabilities within each value stream stage.  I also use ArchiMate notation to model processes that include the roles, information, and tools.  

In addition to The Open Group standards, I am also a Business Architecture Guild® member and use the BIZBOK® regularly. It is a great body of knowledge on how to do Business Architecture. Other frameworks I often use are ITIL®, SAFe®, and DoDAF

I guess I’ve become a bit of a standards freak! But they all help me with my architecture engagements in various ways. I would really like to hear from you in the Comments about what standards, frameworks, and reference materials you are using in your Digital Transformations. 

Stephanie Ramsay has worked for more than 30 years in Information and Digital Technology with extensive experience in Service Delivery, Applications, and Infrastructure in three industries: Defense, Healthcare, and Retail. Her eduction includes a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management and she has a number of Architecture Certifications. She is a leading authority in Business Architecture and Product/Service Integration with strong competencies in Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Business Relationship Management, Service Management, Sourcing & Supplier Management, and Program Management. Stephanie is an active member of The Open Group IT4IT Forum and Architecture Forum and a member of The Open Group Governing Board. Her hobbies include writing, hiking and travel.


  1. Thanks for the valuable experiences you shared.
    I mostly use TOGAF, BIAN, Archimate and Archi for design and architecture in banking industry.
    I have used TM Forum and DODAF frameworks before.

    1. Very cool! I have heard a lot about BIAN as an industry framework for the Banking Industry. IT4IT and TOGAF have been my go to’s lately, but I really like DODAF and typically always have an OV1 in my deck as an artifact that shows the high level operational concept as part of my architecture engagements.

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