DON Enterprise Architecture: Providing Value to Stakeholders

By Victor Ecarma & Fumie Wingo - Published, January 21, 2011

The Department of the Navy Enterprise Architecture (DON EA) continues to provide stakeholder value and support DON transformation. Since its initial release in July 2009, the DON EA has been focused on two overarching goals:

  • Guiding the Department's information technology, including national security systems (IT/NSS), investments toward achieving departmental goals and objectives. This is done by including actionable content in the DON EA, such as those artifacts associated with data at rest (DAR) encryption, fielding only supported commercial off-the-shelf software, and DON NIPRNET public key enablement (PKE).
  • Assisting DON program managers in the development of "solution architectures," as mandated by the Joint Capabilities and Integration Development System and Defense Acquisition System processes. This is done by providing program managers "plug-and-play" DON EA products to be used as a foundation for their architectures.
All DON IT/NSS systems are assessed on an annual basis for compliance with the DON EA. The need to perform an assessment is triggered by one of the following events:
  • A DON information management/information technology (IM/IT) Investment Annual Review. As of Oct. 1, 2010, the IM/IT Investment Annual Review process was expanded to include all four mission areas: Business Mission Area (BMA), Enterprise Information Environment Mission Area (EIEMA), Warfighting Mission Area (WMA) and Defense Intelligence Mission Area (DIMA).
  • A Title 40/Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA) Confirmation. Title 40/CCA Confirmations are required for all information technology/national security systems, prior to each formal acquisition milestone, contract award and deployment and fielding decision.
  • A DON NIPRNET PKE waiver request.
The DON EA is an integrated architecture, which is made up of enterprise-level architecture content, as well as the solution architectures of the DON. The enterprise-level content provides program managers with foundational information to be used in the development of their program-specific solution architectures. It helps to minimize the need for solution architects to recreate portions of the enterprise architecture that are not specific to their individual program. In addition, the solution architectures, developed by individual DON programs, are one of the key mechanisms used to expand and mature the DON EA content. The DON EA enterprise-level content also provides authoritative requirements, which program managers must comply with, to ensure their particular solution is aligned with achieving departmental goals and objectives.

With the release of DON EA v2.0.000 in July 2010, the architecture content was expanded to include traditional DoD Architecture Framework (DoDAF) products such as the Capability Taxonomies (CV-2), Organizational Hierarchies (OV-4), Operational Activities (OV-5), Technical Standards (StdV-1), Technical Standards Forecast (StdV-2), and architecture common element lists. DON EA v2.0.000 requires acquisition category (ACAT) programs to document their solution architectures in a particular way and/or to make use of DON EA artifacts as their starting point. In addition, DON EA v2.0.000 included new and updated laws, regulations, policies and guidance (LRPG) artifacts, which are based on existing DoD and DON policy and strategy, such as requirements associated with Navy conditioned based maintenance.

The DON EA compliance and waiver processes are the mechanisms used to ensure that existing policy and strategy (i.e., LRPG), and other contents of DON EA, are properly executed by DON programs. Effective Oct. 1, 2010, compliance assertion, waiver requests and review processes have been fully automated in the DON variant of the DoD Information Technology Portfolio Repository (DITPR)-DON.

Each DON EA waiver requested represents an individual DON program or project that has been made aware of departmental goals and objectives, which they were not adequately aligned to achieve. Granted waivers include identification of specific expectations of how and when the program or project needs to become compliant with the requirements of the DON EA, thereby aligning the program or project with achieving the associated departmental goals and objectives.

On Sept. 15, 2010, the DON EA Governance and Configuration Management Plans were officially released. The DON EA Governance Plan formalizes the roles, responsibilities and standard operating procedures of the DON EA Approval Board, DON EA Working Group, and DON EA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Board. The DON EA Configuration Management Plan establishes standard procedures for management and maintenance of DON EA content, policy and procedures.

Moving forward, the DON Chief Information Officer (CIO), in partnership with the DON EA Approval Board member organizations, DON Deputy CIO (Navy), DON Deputy CIO (Marine Corps), Deputy Chief Management Officer, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Chief Systems Engineer, are working toward accomplishing the following major initiatives associated with upcoming DON releases:
  • Incorporating DON EA content and compliance into the Systems Engineering Technical Review process, which will ensure alignment with the DON EA of DON solution architectures and system designs early in the program's acquisition life cycle.
  • Establishing pilot Segment Reference Architecture (SRA) communities of practice (COPs) to develop Logistics, Net-Centric and Force Support SRAs, as well as to prove the processes and procedures necessary to successfully run DON EA COPs.
  • Developing a robust DON EA Repository strategy that will provide functional capabilities of content management, architecture development support, the DON EA compliance assessment process and executive dashboards.
  • Providing DON EA training and communications to increase DON EA awareness and alignment across the DON.
The DON CIO is planning to release DON EA v2.1.000 in February 2011 and v3.0.000 in July 2011.

Victor Ecarma and Fumie Wingo provide support to the DON CIO enterprise architecture and emerging technology team.