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Friday, January 21, 2011

TOGAF 9 - A Brief Introduction

In the next few articles, I will be sharing my thoughts on TOGAF 9 as I am discovering it…

TOGAF 9, at the very outset is an Enterprise Architecture Methodology and a Framework. What does it mean? In simple terms, it provides the process to be followed as well as the content taxonomy along with some suggested techniques. It leds itself to tailoring for an enterprise's  specific needs.
However, it also seems like a  methodology that is very inclined towards the "IT nature" of an enterprise. I will write a separate blog article on why I feel so, with references to the TOGAF methodology.

Through its famous ADM (Architecture Development Method), it tells the various phases of a typical enterprise architecture iteration (as this needs to be done in iterations to be able to cover all the functions / verticals in an enterprise). 

I will briefly touch upon the 6 main parts that constitute TOGAF completely:
  1. The Architecture Development Method (ADM)
  2. ADM Guidelines and Techniques
  3. The Enterprise Continuum
  4. Architecture Content Framework
  5. TOGAF Reference Models
  6. The Architecture Capability Framework

A few words about what each of these mean:

ADM – This is a major component of TOGAF and provides guidance to the Enterprise Architecture group on the possible architecture development phases with each phase being described with details such as an objective, approach, inputs, steps, outputs. This is executed iteratively.

ADM Guidelines and Techniques – provides a large number of guidelines and techniques on how to apply ADM.  Guidelines help to adapt the ADM.  Techniques support specific tasks in ADM.

These I found to be basic, useful starting points and extensible.

The Enterprise Continuum – provides a model for structuring a virtual repository and provides methods for classifying architecture and solution artifacts. 

It helps in categorizing based on industry standards, architectural patterns etc. While TOGAF 8 just provided this, TOGAF 9 provides the below mentioned Architecture Content Framework which is one way of realizing the Enterprise Continuum.

Architecture Content Framework – provides a detailed model or meta model of architectural work products including deliverables, artifacts and the Architecture building blocks. This is one realization of the Enterprise Continuum.

This is very useful for creating taxonomy of enterprise architecture artifacts generated throughout the lifecycle of architectural work. Any repository to be maintained in the enterprise can get a starting point here.
The common thread across TOGAF is that every single bit is almost customizable to the context of one’s enterprise. 

TOGAF Reference Models – This provides one integration / interoperability reference model called the III-RM (Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model) and the TRM (Technical Reference Model).  

In my opinion, probably something known well in the industry and probably a bit archaic!

The Architecture Capability Framework – These are certain guidelines and resources to help an architect set up the architecture practice in an organization. 

This would be useful especially in the beginning of an EA practice.

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