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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

Open Group's Enterprise Architecture Framework,TOGAF 9 released today

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I'm at the Open Group's 21st EA Practitioner Conference in San Diego where the big news is this morning's release of TOGAF 9.  TOGAF, as most know, is the Open Group's Architecture Framework:

"TOGAF provides the methods and tools for assisting in the acceptance, production, use and maintenance of an enterprise architecture.  It is based on an iterative process model supported by best practices and a re-usable set of existing architecture assets."

TOGAF 9 is comprised of seven parts: introduction, the architecture development method (ADM), ADM guidelines and techniques, architecture content framework, architectural reference models and an architectural capability framework.


The major changes from TOGAF 8.1.1 are:

1. TOGAF now has a modular structure. This allows organizations to review, understand and adopt portions of TOGAF as applicable to their business situation.  This allows for incremental adoption or even selective adoption in concert with other architecture frameworks.

2. The new content framework provides a structural model for major architectural work products produced during the ADM.  Work products are defined as deliverables, artifacts and building blocks.  An illustration of the content metamodel follows.


3. Guidance for providing a holistic, integrated enterprise architectural view and practice as TOGAF is used in multiple architectural projects, at different levels, within the enterprise. This guidance includes partitioning strategies, an architecture repository and a enterprise architecture capability framework. An illustration of the capability framework follows.


4. New ADM guidelines and techniques to address security architecture concerns and to establish linkages with SOA.


I've only scratched the surface of the near 800-page document, but my first impressions are positive.  I'm particularly pleased with the modularity and the content framework.  I'm all for good, practitioner-generated, content presented in an accessible manner for others to sample and apply to their particular situations.

As I delve deeper into TOGAF 9, I'll share more specific insights.  I encourage you to do the same.  The document is available for download here.  There is also an introductory whitepaper


[Disclosure: The Open Group is not a client of my company, Elemental Links.  However, The Open Group is covering my stay here in sunny and warm San Diego.]


This is good stuff but I wonder if this is the kind of thing that gets EA at companies in trouble. We need some of the practice especially in the larger enterprises but I found that a lot of LOBs within a company and even IT units within an IT department just to start glaze over when these charts start coming out. It reeks of IT ivory tower to a lot of folks except Enterprise Architects.

Having spent a lot of time on the architecture side, I'm now on the front line side. I see the disconnect between architects and front line IT groups and even the businesses. I guess I wondering how you sell this without looking like you are selling this. You know "fly casual".

Hi Mark,

I share your concern that EA can be (sometimes deserving)viewed as an ivory tower. I'm encouraged by the modularity of TOGAF 9 and the related messaging from the creators that EAs should pick and choose the TOGAF steps, artifacts & practices that make sense for their business situation. Used this way, TOGAF (and any other framework) becomes a tool rather than a mission in itself.

For the reasons you mention, I've never been an ardent framework follower. Too often that leads to excessive documentation and little implementation. I'm more of a "sampler", on the look out for artifacts, guidance, practitioner ideas I can apply to my work in the context of delivery.

As I dig into TOGAF, I'll be testing for value within my "sampling" point of view and sharing those findings for real-world folks like you.

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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