So how do you develop and Enterprise Architecture? What method is it that you should use to help you create this over arching architecture that will help you transform your business and deliver increased benefit?
TOGAF introduces the concept of an Architecture Development Model or ADM to help you define the method of creating an Enterprise Architecture best suited to your particular environment. The ADM is a generic approach to developing an Enterprise Architecture and as such does not need to be followed precisely for you to achieve your goal. It is however a very good starting point and will generate internal debate about which elements are actually needed for your environment and what it is you really want to achieve from your Enterprise Architecture.
The basic structure of the ADM can be seen in this standard development cycle diagram;
The idea is that you move around the development cycle creating agreed and clearly defined outputs at each phase which will provide the input into the next, and if necessary capture new or update existing requirements as knowledge increases throughout the entire process.
So for instance the Phase A : Architecture Vision might take the following inputs;
You would then work through a defined number of steps to enable you as the Enterprise Architecture team to produce a set of outputs that can be consumed by all subsequent phases to produce the target architecture.
These outputs might include;
You would also create the first set of draft requirements and might be required to define the document repository and version management solution to manage the version control around these initial outputs, as they will be challenged and updated throughout the ADM life-cycle.
This phase often gets confused or has cross over with the architecture strategy team, and you can often find yourself defining strategy at this point.
It might seem cumbersome, and experience tells me that obtaining senior stakeholder buy-in is difficult given the financial implications involved even before an IT solution is delivered, but it is absolutely worthwhile and once complete sets the tone for any future architecture work and lays the foundations for the delivery of a successful architecture.