Knowledge Base

Welcome to our knowledge base, this is where you can find information on various topics like Togaf, Enterprise Architecture, EA tools, IT trends and more. This section is purely intended as a free information library. If there are specific topics you would like to see described please email these to info@whitecloudsoftware.ca

WIKIPEDIA: Enterprise architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

GARTNER: Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution.

FORRESTER: Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise.

THE OPEN GROUP: Enterprise architecture is a discipline that helps the enterprise define, develop and exploit the capabilities in order to achieve the enterprise’s strategic Intent. An ‘enterprise’ is any collection of organizations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line.

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    TOGAF and EA Governance


In general to set up governance you need:

1. Discipline = Commitment to follow procedures, techniques, and power structures.
2. Transparency = Decision backing accessible for review.
3. Independence = Mechanisms to minimize or completely avoid potential conflicts.
4. Accountability = Groups who make decisions or take actions are responsible for them.
5. Responsibility = Contracted group to act responsibly.

How does TOGAF Define Architecture Governance?

The first thing you need to understand is that TOGAF is not about solution details or development. It does provides a set of guidelines to follow in order to get the final solution in place as per architectural vision, strategy and standards. That is the thing that the Architecture Governance about. It discusses:

6. Control = Implementing a framework of controls over the creation of every Enterprise Architecture components and activities, and monitoring them to guarantee the successful introduction, implementation, and development of architectures in the company.
7. Compliance = Implementing a framework to ensure consistency with external as well as internal standards and regulations.

How would you uphold the governance?
Senior IT leadership, especially IT Architecture, will typically use TOGAF, yet for it to be successful wide backing from rest of the organization is required.

8. Architecture Board = The point is to get the executives from the top authority into the Preliminary Phase. To guarantee that the leadership is perceived correctly by the rest of the company an "Architecture Board" in constituted. TOGAF prescribes that the board should be 4 to 5 permanent members, with the upper limit at ten individuals. The imperative is to incorporate all the crucial people in the company.

9. Architecture Contract = TOGAF likewise suggests that an "Architecture Contract" should be used for all the work that needs be done. Architecture Contracts are mutual understandings between development stakeholders and sponsors on the quality, deliverables, and capabilities.

What does the Architecture Board do?
It acts as the affirming and controlling power for the following things:
- Consistency between sub-architectures
- Identifying reusable components
- Flexibility of EA; to address business issues and use new technologies
- Enforcement of Architecture Compliance
- Improving the development level of architecture order inside the company
- Ensuring that the order of architecture-based advancement is embraced
- Providing the basis for all basic decisions related to the changes in the architecture
- Supporting the escalation capacity for outbound decisions.

What are the specific outcomes of EA Governance and how does this map to Enterprise Architecture Software?
Fundamentally there are two outcomes from EA Governance:
10. Architecture decisions = this can be a decision of a new standard or other reference item like a strategy or roadmap. Another type of architecture decision can be a decision to not align to standards and referenced. Essentially a decision to deviate.

11. Alignment assessments = closely aligned to the deviations, a second outcome of EA governance is alignment assessments on existing projects. Are they following the architecture requirements and contracts? Are they aligned with standards and other reference items?


12. Repository = From an enterprise architecture tools perspective make sure your EA tool provides a central place to manage architecture decisions, standards and alignments assessments. If you are going to apply governance you MUST make it clear and easy on how project are expected to align and a single place to manage this information is crucial. With support for these features in your enterprise architecture software you will be much stronger positioned to execute EA Governance on your projects and across your organization.


keywords: enterprise architecture, governance, enterprise architecture software, EA governance

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