The Enterprise Architecture TOGAF framework has its critics, but they (and some of the supporters) typically overlook the point of TOGAF - it is not a step-by-step enterprise architecture guide, but rather a set of tools embodying best EA practices. People should expect to get value from TOGAF, but not adopt it wholesale - after all, tailoring the architecture framework is just another step in TOGAF (step 4 in the preliminary phase).
Today we are going to talk about TOGAF Skills framework. This tool is often overlooked, but it can provide a lot of value for the enterprise architecture team.
Basics - Skills Framework provided by TOGAF can help in preparing role definitions and planning training.
The Skills Framework is described in chapter 52, which is the final chapter of TOGAF (this might be the reason why so many users forget about the skills framework.) It defines about 75 skills, grouped into:
- Generic Skills
- Enterprise Architecture Skills
- Business Skills and Methods
- Project Management Skills
- IT General Knowledge Skills
- IT Technical Skills
- Legal Environment Skills
These skills are then combined with nine particular roles:
- Architecture Sponsor
- Architecture Board member
- Enterprise Architect for Technology
- Enterprise Architect for Applications
- Enterprise Architect for Business
- Enterprise Architect for Data
- Enterprise Architecture Manager
- IT Designer
- Project Manager
For every role/skill intersection, the skill for that particular role is rated from 1 to 4:
1. Background - not a priority skill, but should be able to manage and define skill if needed.
2. Awareness - Understands the background, problems, and consequences well enough to be able to know how to advise clients or proceed accordingly.
3. Knowledge - Knows the details of the subject and is capable of giving professional guidance if needed. Able to include capability into enterprise architecture design.
4. Expert - Extensive practical experience and applicable knowledge on the subject area.
These grades were taken from TOGAF, chapter 52.
Of course, skill framework is very helpful. But there are some other information’s that many users would wish it could offer.
First off, while it is good to have roles defined, they are very tightly defined. Per example, where should we put a security architect?
Secondly, skills don't have a definition of what they actually mean. It may or may not be valuable to know that every Enterprise architect should be an expert in a certain skill, but it is difficult to determine are they experts or not without knowing what the skills really involves.
Also, some users would like to get some guidance in how a person could advance in the skills levels for every specific skill. How to develop yourself or your entire team? That's the important question. Conclusion
Of course, every standard is limited by resources that can be spent - the creators of TOGAF have day jobs as well, and this would require too much time to be done. But it seems that TOGAF skills framework could be expanded and made exceptionally useful.
keywords: TOGAF, Skills Framework, Enterprise Architecture TOGAF, Enterprise Architecture