Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge

Authors: Con Kenny and Sloan Bailey

EA Governance defines the rules and policies controlling the development and evolution of the EA program, and allocates responsibilities, authorities, and decision rights across key stakeholder groups. In many cases the EA Governance focuses on management of the organizationís EA program, but in some cases it extends to the broader set of stakeholder groups that help shape the governance policies such as chief officers, business leaders, information technology managers, and other customers and users of EA information.

EA governance is not a one-size fits all. It should be tailored to meet the needs of the size and scope of the EA program, and the needs of the EA program customers. Characteristics of successful governance structures typically include that the governance:

  • Articulates the EA purpose and authority
  • Engages stakeholders and senior leadership
  • Identifies and controls the mechanisms for making changes to the EA and the EA program
  • Ensures EA activities are aligned to organizational goals and objectives

One of the primary mechanisms used to communicate the responsibilities, authorities, and decision rights is the EA Governance Body Charter. Typically the Enterprise Architecture Governance Body would review and approve the EA work plan, communications plan, and changes to the EA Charter on a periodic basis (for example, every six months or annually) . The EA Governance Body might also have responsibility for establishing technology standards and ensuring compliance; reviewing proposed, funded, or implemented IT investments; building candidate IT investment portfolios for funding decisions; and/or developing policy for managing IT asset portfolios.

In addition to defining the decision rights and rules of the EA Governance Body, the Charter may specify one or more governing bodies and subordinate bodies or work-groups. The other governing bodies might make decisions based on recommendations from the EA Governance Body, and the subordinate bodies might perform tasks delegated by the EA Governance Body. Topics commonly included in an EA Charter (not a mandatory or an exhaustive list):

  • Authority of the governance body in relation to other governance and subordinate bodies where appropriate
  • The Chair or Co-Chairs of the Governance Body and their organizational roles
  • Purpose
  • Membership
  • Roles and responsibilities of members
  • Concept of operations
  • Meetings and logistics
  • Outcomes
  • Key definitions

Further Reading

  1. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, HHS Enterprise Architecture Governance Plan, Ver. 3.0., Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, 2007. Available from: https://www.hhs.gov/ocio/ea/documents/hhs_ea_governance_plan_fy2008.pdf
  2. Office of CIO, Enterprise Architecture Governance Procedures, Environmental Protection Agency, 2012. Available from: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-11/documents/cio-2122-p-01.1.pdf
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