Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
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. The plan will typically build on the organization's strengths and leverage opportunities, while considering both internal and external impediments and barriers. At its best, the EA can drive organizational change, enabling the enterprise to achieve important mission outcomes and enhance business success.

This knowledge area provides references and guidance on how to initiate and plan an effective EA project. It may cover common challenges and recommended solutions. It may also describe topics and issues that are typically covered in the EA planning phase, such as strategic alignment, organizational positioning, and stakeholder engagement. A review of this knowledge area should provide the reader with an understanding of what a successful EA plan looks like and how it can serve as the foundation for the management, development and use of the EA.

The EA glossary offers helpful terms and definitions.


Enterprise Architects analyze areas of common activity within or between enterprises or organizations, where information and other resources are exchanged to guide future states from an integrated viewpoint of strategy, business and technology.


Drivers are forces pushing some aspect of an organization in a specific direction. Drivers may come from legislation, policy, business competition, technology changes, cost changes, organizational restructuring and/or consolidation, or facility changes.

Impediments & Barriers

Barriers and impediments obstruct or delay the progress of developing or maintaining a useful enterprise architecture. They are different from drivers in that a driver directs the architecture to accommodate a need or constraint, while an impediment or barrier hinders development of the enterprise architecture to meet the need or constraint.


A strategy is a long range plan for achieving organizational goals to meet mission priorities while effectively using available resources. A strategy is often formulated to help an organization achieve an economic, competitive, or positional advantage.


The scope of an enterprise architecture establishes the range or extent that it needs to address. There are several dimensions to scope. The enterprise architecture time extent identifies the planning time horizon. Typically, this is three to five years and coincides with the budget planning cycle in large organizations.

Organizational Positioning

Organizational positioning refers to where in the organization the enterprise architecture planning and development activities are performed. Such positioning can have a significant effect on the success of the EA. To some degree the positioning depends on the purpose of the EA.

Planning an EA