Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
EABOK Knowledge Areas

An Enterprise Architecture (EA) translates business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles, drivers and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution. The EA establishes the organization-wide roadmap to achieve the mission through optimal performance of its core business functions within an efficient information technology (IT) environment. Enterprise architectures are blueprints; they define the organization's current (baseline) and desired (target) environments, and specify the mechanisms to systematically transform the enterprise to achieve target outcomes.

The EABOK provides a living, evolving reference of ready-to-use knowledge about EA. The EABOK is decomposed into five knowledge areas that roughly correspond to phases in the EA development lifecycle planning, managing, developing, using and measuring the EA. The phases do not imply sequential ordering. Indeed, some phases (e.g. managing the EA) operate in parallel with the other phases. Furthermore, EAs may be developed in an incremental fashion, resulting in early iterations of the EA being in the usage and measurement phases while subsequent iterations are being planned. The lifecycle phases are intended to help the reader to find appropriate references and guidance based on their interests and their roles in the EA program.

Planning an EA

During the planning phase, the scope, purpose and focus of the EA are defined. The EA plan should support and align to the organization's strategic goals and objectives. The plan should take into consideration drivers such as laws, mandates or policies.

Managing an EA

Managing the EA involves establishing, monitoring, and controlling the EA project throughout the lifecycle. The EA manager must communicate the EA plans to stakeholders, and ensure support and buy-in of the strategic vision. The EA manager creates the governance mechanisms and structures, establishes boards and working groups, and ensures and appropriate balance of empowerment, focus and control.

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.

Using an EA

The EA is a tool for many individuals within an enterprise to include executives, managers, engineering staff, cost analysts, domain experts, and end users. Managers and executives use the EA to ensure investments and systems are linked to the mission and strategy for an organization.

Measuring the Impact of EA

Keeping an EA program on track to meet the organization's needs requires constant measurement, review and adjustment. An effective EA program can provide value to the enterprise far in excess of the costs of developing the EA. On the other hand, ineffective EA programs tend to produce "shelf ware"—artifacts that are obsolete by the time they are completed and that are never used.

Perspectives on EA

Some knowledge about EA does not fit into any one of the life-cycle-based Knowledge Areas of the EABOK. In general, this knowledge is cross-cutting or "meta-level" knowledge that represents different perspectives on the discipline.