Architecture Canvas Template

(Formerly named Architecture View Layout)

About Dragon1 Architecture Canvas

Invented by Mark Paauwe in 2003, the Architecture Canvas is the basic visualization template for every architect.

Dragon1 as an online BPM / EA Tool and as an open EA Method provides you with an effective layout to relate information on enterprise strategy (left), enterprise architecture (middle) and business transformation (right) with each other. You can present and communicate architecture visualizations such as Concept Sketches, Business Diagrams, Blueprints, Landscapes, and Artist Impressions effectively for decision-making.

Dragon1 Enterprise Architecture Canvas template.

The Architecture Canvas parts Explained

The Architecture Canvas is a schema for organizing and placing enterprise architecture data or information on a canvas. It is a layout for Enterprise Architecture Views for effective communication with stakeholders. The Architecture Canvas t consists of a border with boxes and a middle section.

Left hand Side: Enterprise Strategy

The template links three areas together: strategy, architecture, and change.

On the left side of the canvas there is an area for presenting subjects that are part of the enterprise strategy or business strategy: identity, mission, vision on themes, stakeholders, etc...

Middle: The Enterprise System Structure or a Solution System Structure

In the middle of the canvas there is a space for designing an enterprise system structure or business system structure, often with elements organized in layers: markets and clients layer, governance layer, business layer, information and application layer, and the technology governance layer.

Right-Hand Side: Business Transformation / Enterprise Change

On the right side of the canvas there is an area for presenting subjects of change, like programs, projects, deliverables, and milestones. Sometimes on the right-hand side also concepts, principles, rules, roles, and constraints are present.

Communication Message

At the bottom of the architecture view you will see a box for the communication message. You have an area here to write down the 'communication message' of this whole visualization: What does it tell the viewer, or what should it tell the Viewer? The communication message you can use to 'check' the visualizations' correctness. If a viewer looks at the visualization but does not get or see what is written down in the communication message box, you as an architect have some work to do to improve the visualization.

Effect Behavior

One topic you will not write down on the visualization is the expected effect behavior. In other words: what do you want viewers/stakeholders to do after they have looked at the visualization? When is the visualization successful? Because that significantly determines what and how you visualize the items on the canvas.

For instance, if you might want people to make a certain decision or take a certain action, you focus the visualization with eye-catchers on only that important message. All the other information on the visualization is grayed out as being contextual.

If you want people to see the dependencies and interrelationship of a situation in the organization (in the middle section), for example blocking the execution of a strategic goal (on the left-hand section), you might want to define a project with a deliverable (on the right-hand section). In this way, the Dragon1 Architecture Canvas is a strategic management steer instrument with tracking and traceability features.

Dragon1 Structure Vision Template

A very widely used version of the template is this version where the layers are already placed in the context area:

Go to the examples section for a lot of examples using this Dragon1 Architecture Canvas.

This Architecture Canvas is available in the Visual Designer and is configurable to your needs. Also, you can try the DEMO of generating Architecture Canvas Layouts yourself.

How to use the Template

Here on the Dragon1 Platform you can create models and views (a filter) on models. Next, you put 'visual items' (i.e. placeholders for shapes and data) on a canvas with the template as background and link entities from the model to the visual items.

Now what happens is that Dragon1 generates shapes for the data connection. So if in your model there are 10 processes and the visual item was configured with an oval shape, Dragon1 generates 10 processes in the selected spray patterns with oval shapes on the canvas.

If the data in the model is updated the visualization is also updated.

Copyright Architecture Canvas Template

This Dragon1 Architecture Canvas template is part of the Dragon1 open EA Method and intellectual property of Dragon1 Inc. You are free to use the template as long as you mention 'source: Dragon1' visible on the visualization and do not claim any ownership of it.

Interested to use Dragon1 to create Architecture Visualizations?

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Concept Mapping Software

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