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CHIPS Articles: New DON EA v1.0 Supports Investment Decision Making

New DON EA v1.0 Supports Investment Decision Making
By Michelle Derus and Victor Ecarma - October-December 2009
The Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer recently released the DON Enterprise Architecture Version 1.0 (DON EA). It provides the management foundation necessary to transform the Navy's systems and Information Technology/National Security System (IT/NSS) investment decision-making processes to an optimized state. The memorandum may be downloaded from the DON CIO Web site by going to www.doncio.navy.mil and clicking on the Policy and Guidance link.

The DON EA structure, as depicted in Figure 1, is designed to ensure uniformity, standardization, modernization and interoperability of systems across the department and promote efficient and cost-saving investment management, capital planning and control and capabilities-based acquisitions.

The framework identifies operational and mission requirements, determines capability and performance gaps and shortfalls, and supports effective and efficient investment management decisions to enable the DON to meet the current and future needs of the warfighter and warfighter-support operations.

The DON EA documents key IT/NSS attributes related to achieving DON objectives and outcomes. This initial version of the DON EA focuses on establishing a baseline framework of core principles and rules that are tied to underlying policies and guidance. The DON EA is linked to the appropriate laws, regulations, policies and guidance, providing a means for users to navigate through the many applicable legislative mandates, federal regulations, executive orders and IT architecture standards.

The DON EA consists of an integrated set of models and products. The DON EA "Description" describes the manner in which the DON EA will be developed and implemented, and the All View-1 (AV-1) serves as an executive summary and overview of information for all EA products and a central source for definitions. The DON EA framework is comprised of an Abstract Layer, Capstone Layer and a Solution Layer, which are described in the AV-1, providing a comprehensive department-wide architecture view.

The DON CIO began assessing compliance of IT/NSS investments with the DON EA on Oct. 1, 2009. This assessment is conducted using three existing processes: DON Business System Investment Review process; Title 40/Clinger-Cohen Act (Title 40/CCA) confirmation process; and the Mission Area Chief Engineer (MACE) review process. Currently, the DON Business System Investment Review is applicable to all proposed obligations of development or modernization funding for business systems. Under this process, proposed investments are assessed for their compliance with the Department of Defense Business Enterprise Architecture (DoD BEA).

Starting Oct. 1, 2009, the following changes to this process were implemented:

• The DON Business System Investment Review process was renamed the DON Information Management/Information Technology Investment Review.
• The review process was expanded to include other mission area investments (e.g., development of a shared data environment or piloting of a business capability) rather than only those associated with a "business system."
• The review process was expanded to include proposed investments in the Enterprise Information Environment Mission Area of $1 million or more.
• All proposed investments will be assessed for compliance with the DoD BEA, the DoD Information Enterprise Architecture and the DON EA.

Updated guidance for implementation of DON EA compliance assessments, as part of the Title 40/CCA and MACE processes, will be forthcoming. In addition to assessing compliance with the DON EA, the DON CIO will work closely with appropriate Navy, Marine Corps and Secretariat level organizations to incorporate DON EA compliance assessment into the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) process and budget phases of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution process.

In addition, the upcoming DON Architecture Product Guide Version 1.0 will be used in the development of “Solution Architectures” — a description of the end-to-end design responsibility required to address a specific problem or requirement and the dependencies that need to be addressed.

These solution architectures are developed as required to supply information about the various “systems” that will be developed to fulfill a needed “operational” capability. The primary stakeholders for solution architecture are: program managers, system users and developers.

While this initial release represents a strong beginning, the DON EA will always be a work in progress. Future releases of the DON EA will include refined processes and products essential to the warfighter and warfighter support operations and will increasingly guide the department’s IT investment decision-making processes. Each DON EA layer will be expanded as more architecture products and views are expanded, enhanced or developed.

Implementation of the DON EA will provide a more robust understanding of the Navy’s business architecture and how its investments and systems align with this model. In the near-term, the DON EA will be broken into more granular functions, processes and activities within each business component.

Ultimately, the DON EA will define the manner in which all components of the enterprise work seamlessly to ensure business and technology alignment; realize operating efficiencies; identify cost savings and cost avoidance; and provide adaptability for more responsiveness to evolving warfighter requirements.

The DON EA governance structure and associated processes will enable the achievement of that vision through a well-defined and well-orchestrated transformation plan. The DON EA will be updated twice a year.

Michelle Derus and Victor Ecarma provide support to Naval Air Systems Command and DON CIO respectively to advance Enterprise Architecture throughout the DON.

The DON EA structure is designed to ensure uniformity, standardization, modernization and interoperability of systems across the department, and to promote efficient and cost-saving investment management, capital planning and control, and capabilities-based acquisitions. The framework identifies operational and mission requirements, determines capability and performance gaps and shortfalls, and supports effective and efficient investment management decisions to enable the DON to meet the current and future needs of the warfighter and warfighter-support operations.
The DON EA structure is designed to ensure uniformity, standardization, modernization and interoperability of systems across the department, and to promote efficient and cost-saving investment management, capital planning and control, and capabilities-based acquisitions. The framework identifies operational and mission requirements, determines capability and performance gaps and shortfalls, and supports effective and efficient investment management decisions to enable the DON to meet the current and future needs of the warfighter and warfighter-support operations.
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