Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Developing an EA

Developing an EA includes all the activities associated with creating and maintaining the enterprise architecture for a specific purpose. The EA provides the blueprint for transforming the enterprise from the current state to the desired end state in order to achieve strategic outcomes. That desired end state may address organizational change, business process transformations, data integration, systems reengineering or technology modernization. The EA describes how to systematically evolve to that end state, often in phases.

EA artifacts must be developed with a clear understanding of how the EA will be used and who will use it. To the system designer, the EA may be used as a tool for evaluating design alternatives and selecting optimal solutions. To mission users, the EA may provide insights into how practices will be streamlined or improved through automation. To financial managers, the EA may offer a plan for needed investments and an understanding of what costs savings will be achieved through consolidation.

The EA developer may select from a variety of standards-based reference models, frameworks, processes and modeling notations, keeping in mind the anticipated uses of the EA. In addition, the vendor community has produced a number of commercial tools to support efficient EA development, analysis and use. This knowledge area provides references and guidelines to assist the developer in making these selections.

The EA developer will also need to decide how to collect the data that is relevant to the EA. Information may come from legacy resources, e.g. designs of current systems or documented business practices. The EA developer may need to generate new information by instrumenting and monitoring current or pilot systems, conducting experiments and exercises, or conducting research into the capabilities and risks of new technologies and practices under consideration.

This knowledge area includes methods and sample artifacts to provide insights into how to develop a successful EA.

The EA glossary offers helpful terms and definitions.

Principles

A principle is a general guideline for behavior in specific situations. The usefulness of principles is in their general orientation and perspective; they do not prescribe specific actions.

Models

An EA model is an approximation, abstraction or representation of the enterprise or portion thereof, which may include the people, processes, systems, information, and/or technologies.

Methodologies & Processes

An EA development methodology is a body of methods, rules and postulates used to structure, plan, and implement the process of developing an EA. A methodology usually specifies a set number of development phases, each with its own defined inputs and outputs.

Frameworks

A framework is defined as: “conventions, principles and practices for the description of architectures established within a specific domain of application and/or community of stakeholders.” (ISO, 2011). A framework is a logical structure for classifying and organizing complex information.

EA Tools

An EA tool is a software system that helps in the development, use and management of enterprise architecture information products. EA tools may be used by developers and designers to construct, represent, store, manipulate and share architecture data.

Standards

Standards describe guidelines, best practices, technical specifications or performance criteria that govern the development and implementation of the EA. They are often used to facilitate system interoperability or collaboration.

Reference Models & Architectures

A reference model is an abstract framework or domain-specific ontology consisting of an interlinked set of clearly defined concepts. A reference model can represent the component parts of any consistent idea, from business functions to system components, and it serves to enable clear communication.

Developing an EA