Thinking about frameworks and geometry

by | January 15, 2009

Mike Kavis‘ got me thinking about EA frameworks with his Twitter posts about the E2AF.

The Zachman Framework was my first introduction to an EA framework in 2004 and it continues as a significant reference model for how I think about EA. Here is a slide of the Zachman Framework Version 2.  The geometry of Zachman sits in one and two dimensions. For example, creating lists for cells in ZF Row 1 results in one-dimensional, primitives. Next, creating matrices between the Row 1 lists results in two-dimensional, composites. There is no third dimension to overlay or underpin the artifacts in this model. So how are governance, security and risk management articulated?

Mike is looking at leveraging the Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework.  Here is a slide with their model – Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework (E2AF).  This framework slightly modified Zachman components like the column interrogatives to: Why? With Who? What? How? With What? When?  (Note: John Zachman has always maintained that there is no precident order to the columns in his framework). The rows have been simplified from 6 to 4 : Business, Information, Information – Systems, Technology – Infrastructure. This results in the same geometry as the Zachman Framework but the E2AF model goes a further step and introduces “Viewpoints” : Privacy, Governance, Security and Other Viewpoints. These viewpoints introduce a critical third dimension and allow the framework views from specific stakeholder’s perspectives. Here is a link to the article that explains viewpoints in this framework.

Interestingly, I have always had a sense that communicating EA in a model/diagram needed 3 dimensions. Here is a link to my post about our EA Model from June 2007.  I am surprised how much similarity exists between this and the E2AF model and some linkages to the model discussed below.

Last May I collaborated with Dr Scott Bernard to introduce Enteprise Architecture to the University of Alaska.  Scott introduced me to his EA3 Framework which is based on a 3D model.  This model provides a view of an enterprise in 3 dimensions with the concepts Scott introduced like Line of Business segments and crosscutting components like governance, security, workforce.  With this framework, we get a representation of a coherent view of the enterprise.  I took Scott’s course and got hands on experience populating his EA3 cube with artifacts from a fictitious aerospace company.

There are many other EA frameworks and approaches …

  • Do you use them as thinking tools to help with EA?
  • Have you adopted and populate a prescribed EA framework?
  • Or maybe you have your own EA framework you would like to share!

2 thoughts on “Thinking about frameworks and geometry

  1. Mike Kavis

    The latest version of TOGAF is due on on 2/2/09. I was fortunate enough to get a preview and a huge document describing the framework. I am probably going to take my favorite parts out of TOGAF 9 and E2AF use them collectively for my EA. Why, because I can!


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