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CHIPS Articles: DON Enterprise Architecture Management View

DON Enterprise Architecture Management View
By Victor Ecarma - October-December 2007
The Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON CIO) recently updated the DON Enterprise Architecture Management View (first released as DON EA 2006). It is a categorization of DON architecture projects aligned to the Department's goals and objectives. It contains summary information of the "domain-level" architecture efforts underway across the DON, as well as a summary of key Defense Department level architectures, such as the Global Information Grid (GIG) and Business Enterprise Architecture (BEA).

The DON EA Management View defines a domain as a comprehensive mission area incorporating numerous subordinate mission areas and various programs. See Figure 1 at right.

The DON EA Management View provides Department leaders, program managers, functional area managers, command information officers and external organizations with insight into and understanding of the scale, scope and objectives of DON EA efforts. It highlights progress, identifies areas requiring attention and is used as a catalyst for addressing longstanding shortfalls within the architecture arena.

The DON EA Management View introduces the concept of architecture federation. A federated approach to architectures within the DON is essential because of the size of its enterprise, diversity of its missions and substantial architecture development ongoing across the Department. Using a federated approach 2005enables disparate architectures to be meaningfully related through the DON enterprise architecture and permits the acceleration of new architectures.

The DON EA Management View categorizes architecture development (e.g., warfighting, business or infrastructure domain) and positions related architecture efforts for federation into a larger enterprise view. Federation principles and techniques are used to document the complete enterprise environment and how it relates to the larger GIG environment. As a result, DON decision makers will be better informed and able to make more accurate and timely decisions.

The DON EA Management View provides a means for ongoing analysis of architecture efforts and gaps. It will be used by the DON architecture and CIO communities as a means to identify needed EA policy, guidance and alignment strategies.

The DON Enterprise Architecture Coordination Board (EACB) is chartered to provide a consistent strategy and common vision for establishing the measurement, policy and control mechanisms to ensure alignment of architectural initiatives across the DON. The EACB is responsible for vetting all updates to the DON EA Management View.

The DON EA Management View, which will be updated regularly, is comprised of three primary focus areas:

• Strategic plans and their associated goals and objectives – an essential starting point since architecture development is primarily a tool for achieving an organization's strategic objectives.

By examining and aggregating strategic level plans, alignment points and logical inconsistencies can be identified. The DON EA Management View uses Naval Power 21 as the overarching set of capabilities that the DON is striving toward.

• Categorization of architecture efforts – provides concise architectural information, enabling the reader to understand the scope of the effort and how it fits or does not fit into the strategic landscape. It also includes vital statistical information such as points of contact and access methods required to view the products.

• Catalog of architecture development and production toward a federated DON architecture – identifies efforts, guidance and products across the DON and DoD that are enabling the achievement of a federated architecture.

The DON EA Management View will contribute to the Department’s continuing development of a cohesive EA plan, policy that is currently under development, and processes to align and integrate architecture efforts in support of its business and warfighting strategic goals.

The EA Management View also provides a feedback link that viewers can use to add architecture information, request more information or submit questions. It is available on the DON CIO Web site at www.doncio.navy.mil/.

Victor Ecarma supports the DON CIO chief technology officer.

A federated architecture is a distributed strategic information asset base, which defines the mission, information and technologies necessary to perform the mission and transitional processes for implementing new technologies in response to changing mission needs.

It provides a framework for enterprise architecture development, maintenance and use that aligns, locates and links disparate architectures and architecture information via information exchange standards to deliver a seamless outward appearance to users. A federated architecture approach recognizes the uniqueness and specific purpose of disparate architectures and allows for their autonomy and local governance while enabling the enterprise to benefit from their content.

– DoD Federated Joint Architectures Working Group recommendation, December 2005

Figure 1. The DON EA Management View provides Department leaders, program managers, functional area managers, command information officers and external organizations with insight into and understanding of the scale, scope and objectives of DON EA efforts.
Figure 1. The DON EA Management View provides Department leaders, program managers, functional area managers, command information officers and external organizations with insight into and understanding of the scale, scope and objectives of DON EA efforts.
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