Create an Enterprise Architecture Framework Diagram

Why do you need to create Enterprise Architecture Frameworks?

As an Enterprise Architect one of your primary tasks (or should be) is creating AS-IS and TO-BE Enterprise Architecture Framework diagrams for several types of architectures. You line up these architectures as part of the enterprise architecture that is defined and present, and also the ones that are not defined and not present in the organization.

Why should you start creating an Enterprise Architecture Framework? What steps do you need to take to create one & what should the result look like? The possible answers to these questions are presented in this enterprise architect tutorial.

enterprise architecture framework management report

Enterprise Architecture Framework Management Report.

What is an Enterprise Architecture Framework exactly?

An Enterprise Architecture Framework in its smallest form is nothing more than a classification scheme of types of architectures and their most important parts in a single schematic overview. An Enterprise Architecture Framework often can be visualized in a reasonably small but still comprehensive diagram. You need to create a separate diagram per architecture plateau (AS-IS, Plateau n, TO-BE, Envision).

TO-BE or AS-IS, that's the question!

The TO-BE version of an Enterprise Architecture Framework is more complex to create than the AS-IS version since it requires new visions, missions, and strategic decisions. The AS-IS is of impact today, even if you have not created the enterprise architecture framework yet. Therefore it is always useful to visualize the AS-IS framework and reuse the current (old) strategy aspects to create the diagram.

Having the TO-BE and AS-IS architecture diagrams available is extremely helpful in supporting high-level overview and decision support.

It is just sitting there, waiting for you to dust it off!

Enterprise Architecture Frameworks show the types of architectures used at a certain moment in time and it shows the concepts, principles, standards (norms), building blocks, metamodels, and user models that are part of the underlying architectures.

You, as an enterprise architect, can decide which parts of the architecture you think should be part of the framework.

About Architecture Diagrams

An Enterprise Architecture Framework diagram is a special type of Enterprise Architecture Diagram. A diagram is only an architecture diagram when it contains information about concepts that together create an architecture or are part of an architecture. An architecture diagram is a conceptual structure diagram.

If a diagram omits the conceptual layer and only shows elements of the logical layer it is not considered anymore an architecture diagram but a logical structure diagram. If a diagram only shows the components and objects of the physical layer the diagram is considered to be a physical structure diagram. Often the conceptual, logical, and physical layers in diagrams are mixed up.

Dragon1 advises always to focus on a layer in a diagram or at least to complete one layer in one diagram (the diagram shows the complete logical layer, etc..).

HOW TO Create an Enterprise Architecture Framework

enterprise architecture framework diagram

Enterprise Architecture Framework Diagram.

An overview of the steps to take in this enterprise architecture tutorial how to create an Enterprise Architecture Framework is here below:

  1. Show an example EAF diagram to the owner/client (the CIO).
  2. Get the assignment to create an EAF diagram and make sure it is clear who is going to approve the EAF diagram and who is going to use the EAF diagram for what purpose.
  3. Make a list of candidate architectures and describe the enterprise architecture function: the architectures people talk about and that are common in your organization. Look at the structures, systems, domains, and functions that are present in your organization. Are there already architectures defined for them?
  4. Check if there is an architecture for a structure, system, or domain, check if there are concepts and principles applied, and if there are policies, rules, and standards applied for that structure, system, or domain.
  5. Try to find a reference model for the framework that is common for your industry.
  6. Review your list with others to verify the actual status of the architectures.
  7. Try to get a common definition for the architecture (to define its content, context, and scope), who is the owner, who is the manager and who is the user?
  8. List 7 issues for the architecture.
  9. List 7 products of each architecture to create or have. With these products, the owner and enterprise architect of an architecture can direct developments and realizations.
  10. Select the entities for your architecture framework model from your company's enterprise meta-model of an architecture modeling language.
  11. Create the enterprise architecture framework model.
  12. Create a management overview of the Enterprise Architecture Framework model.
  13. Be sure you are not visualizing the perfect world (figure 1), but the current actual situation (figure 2). It could well be that your organization holds two different business architectures and technical architectures. That all depends of course on your definition of architecture.
  14. Visualize in a diagram the management overview of the Enterprise Architecture Framework model.
  15. Write down in a document why, when, and how you created the diagram and how it should be maintained.
  16. Present it to the owner/client and have the EAF diagram approved and used.
  17. Make the diagram part of the maintenance update cycle for architecture products.

The benefits of using an Enterprise Architecture Framework

enterprise architecture framework diagram parts

Enterprise Architecture Framework Diagram Parts.

The benefit of modeling and visualizing the AS-IS Enterprise Architecture Framework is that you as an architect:

  • to be able to analyze the impact of change on architectures and measure compliance to reference architectures better
  • to be able to communicate the current situation and implementation of architectures better to users and stakeholders
  • to be able to manage expectations better of what architectures are present and what is not to users and stakeholders
  • to be able to manage the workload to create and maintain the architectures and their products
  • to be able to focus discussions about the what, why, and where of architectures

When to use this Enterprise Architecture Framework?

enterprise architecture framework diagram realistic

Enterprise Architecture Framework Diagram Realistic.

On Dragon1, enterprise architects need to get the assignment to create a product, such as an AS-IS Enterprise Architecture Framework. To get that assignment from the owner/client (CIO preferably), you will need an example EAF diagram.

That example you could create without an assignment and you can prepare a case or situation to depict so you can show the benefits of having such an EAF diagram available (when does it come in handy). What are questions people now have, what are issues and problems regarding consisting architectures and how does this diagram help to solve them?

An AS-IS Enterprise Architecture Framework is one of the first products to create as part of your Enterprise Architecture Baseline

Usage of this Enterprise Architecture Framework

enterprise architecture framework diagram

Enterprise Architecture Framework Diagram Management Report View.

With an Enterprise Architecture Framework you can do a lot of reporting, such as using colors how well the architectures are designed and implemented yet, or how well they comply with certain standards. If created correctly it can act perfectly as an auditing framework.

Suppose you could use the color red to say a part of the architecture in the current situation is not implemented and not compliant with the company's strategy and policies. The color orange, you can use for the partially compliant parts and the color green for those that are fully compliant. And black means you could not get the status and white means getting it status has not been done or planned.

A typical management report view of the enterprise architecture framework like this will often cause an owner/client (CIO) to take immediate action.

Also Read

If you are interested in more examples of an Architecture Framework or Business or IT Architecture Diagram you might also want to read:

Get Started

We hope we have inspired you to Get Started creating enterprise architecture frameworks.

Do you want to use your company data? You can purchase your Dragon1 PRO here online via the Store.

If you do not have the time and you need an Enterprise Architecture Framework on short notice, we can Create a Framework for you.