Using the DON Enterprise Architecture to Support Critical Decision-Making Processes
By Victor Ecarma - Published, March 4, 2010
The DON Enterprise Architecture helps decision makers make informed decisions about investments in new technology and, at the same time, capitalize upon vast existing technology assets. In addition, the DON EA is focused on maintaining alignment between the Department's goals and objectives, and its information management/information technology (IM/IT) investments.
Since both technology and business needs change over time, the DON EA must be flexible enough to respond to these changes, yet do so in a controlled manner and with minimal adverse impact.
The DON EA's success is dependent upon its relevance and value to DON decision makers and program managers. As the "Chief Architect" of the Department, the DON Chief Information Officer is leading the effort to design and develop a single integrated DON EA that includes Navy and Marine Corps architectures and federates with external partners' and organizations' architectures.
The DON EA will describe policy requirements, processes, information flows, solutions, data descriptions, technical infrastructure and standards. It will support developing weapons, intelligence and business systems, and enterprise IT infrastructure and core services. Currently, DON EA compliance is incorporated into two existing processes: the Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA) confirmation process and the IM/IT investment review process. Additionally, the requirement for assessing compliance, with the DON EA as part of these processes, has been incorporated into the Department's annual IT budget execution policy.
Clinger-Cohen Act Confirmation
Clinger-Cohen Act confirmation is required for all information technology, including National Security Systems, before any acquisition milestone, contract award, or full-rate production or full deployment decision. As of Oct. 1, 2009, DON EA compliance must be demonstrated as part of all CCA confirmations.
Program managers must show compliance using the DON EA Compliance Assessment Tool (DECAT) before submitting the CCA package for review. In addition, all required waivers must be submitted and approved before the CCA package is submitted.
Program managers' assertions of compliance with the DON EA will be reviewed as part of the normal CCA sign-off process.
The final DON CCA approval authorities are the DON CIO for programs categorized as Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and II, and Navy Echelon II Command Information Officers and Marine Corps C4 for programs categorized as ACAT III and below.
DON EA Compliance as part of the DON IM/IT Investment Review Process
DON IM/IT investment reviews are required for all programs, systems and initiatives within the Business Mission Area (BMA) and the Enterprise Information Environment Mission Area (EIEMA). DON IM/IT investment reviews are required before obligating any development/ modernization funding and as part of annual reviews. The reviews must be completed by May 15 of each year.
DON EA compliance must be demonstrated as part of the DON IM/IT investment review package. Program managers must show compliance using the DECAT before submitting the annual review package for their IT investment. In addition, all required waivers must be submitted and approved before submitting the annual review package. Program managers' assertions of compliance with the DON EA will be reviewed as part of the normal IM/IT investment annual review process.
Currently, the DON CIO is the pre-certification authority for Tiers 1 through 3 defense business systems. Pending legislation may mandate that military department chief management officers perform the duties of the pre-certification authority. The Defense Business Systems Management Committee is the final Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) approval authority.
The DON CIO is the approval authority for all other BMA and EIEMA Tier 3 investments, and the DON Deputy CIO (Navy or Marine Corps) is the approval authority for Tier 4 and non-tier reviews.
DECAT and other DON EA information, including training, may be accessed at http://go.usa.gov/leF. All DON EA information is "For Official Use Only" and access to the site requires an account to Intelink, the U.S. government's colloborative web site.
Victor Ecarma provides support to DON CIO to advance enterprise architecture throughout the DON.