Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Management of EA


Authors: Wakar Khan and Saurabh Mittal, PhD

Enterprise Architecture maturity refers to the degree of formality and optimization of the EA program. An immature EA program may depend on ad hoc practices, weak governance and stakeholder engagement, and poor alignment to business needs. As EA programs mature, they may introduce formally defined steps, managed quality and outcome metrics, and active optimization of the processes. Although not guaranteed, enterprises that adopt mature EA practices are likely to operate efficiently and effectively, and to achieve desired business outcomes on a repeatable basis.

Maturity models offer structured levels that describe how the behaviors, practices and processes of an enterprise can be improved over time to increase EA maturity. Maturity models can also be used as a benchmark for comparison with other enterprises and as an aid to understanding how to make improvements. Cole (2016) defines five maturity levels:

  1. Level 1: Nonexistent EA does not exist at this level
  2. Level 2: Reactive EA need is recognized but EA practice is ad hoc and of response rather than a proactive approach
  3. Level 3: Functioning EA is now operating and supporting the business. The foundational enterprise architect is well represented but is struggling to keep balance across the organization.
  4. Level 4: Integrated EA is delivering consistent value as business outcomes
  5. Level 5: Ubiquitous EA success has a trickle down effect across the organization and becomes a natural way of working.

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) developed an IT Architecture Capability Maturity Model (ACMM) to aid in conducting internal assessments. They have six levels: None, Initial, Under Development, Defined, Managed, Measured. The Initial and Under Development levels can be consolidated in the Reactive Level presented by Cole (2016).

Some case studies are also available in the Further Reading section.

Further Reading

  1. Cole, Z. (2016) Why Enterprise Architecture Needs Maturity Models. Erwin. Accessible at: https://erwin.com/blog/why-your-enterprise-architecture-practice-is-missing-out-on-maturity-models/
  2. TOGAF 8.1, Architecture Maturity Models, Accessible at: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap27.html
  3. Muthu, S., Gilbert, S., (2017) Enterprise IT Architecture Assessment & Case Studies, Accessible at: https://resources.sei.cmu.edu/asset_files/Presentation/2017_017_001_497505.pdf
  4. Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, (n.d.) CBP Improves Efficiency and Effectiveness through EA, Enterprise Architecture (EA) in Action, Accessible at: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/fea_docs/CBPCaseStudy.pdf
  5. Case Studies, Troux, Accessible at: https://success.planview.com/Troux/Resource_Center/Case_Studies
Managing an EA