Architecture Assessment at the Federal Enterprise Level

Architecture Assessment at the Federal Enterprise Level

Supriya Ghosh (Arcadia Concepts, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-854-3.ch014
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This chapter focuses on assessing the maturity of enterprise architecture within our federal government, which is peripherally tied to the net-centric readiness of military and commercial organizations. We provide an overview of federal enterprise architecture guidance and federal reference models to comply with OMB mandates. We define an enterprise architecture transition strategy that allows organizations to move from their current state to a target state. We then go ahead and assess federal agencies based on Clinger-Cohen Act and OMB mandates. We end with discussing enterprise architecture maturity and how to achieve it within a large organization. The purpose of this final section is to focus on the assessment of technology architecture throughout the government and commercial enterprise. This chapter provides a description on the use of enterprise architecture to assess our federal government agencies. Based on federal mandates, enterprise architecture processes have proliferated within the government, and this allows the ability to adhere to new upcoming technologies such as the net-centric concepts proliferation by the defense department and military organizations.
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Chapter Content

As you explore Chapter 14, it will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of Federal Enterprise Architecture

  • Federal Enterprise Architecture Reference Models

  • Defining an Enterprise Architecture Transition Strategy

  • Enterprise Architecture Assessment of Federal Agencies

  • Identifying Maturity of an Agency Enterprise Architecture


Overview Of Federal Enterprise Architecture

Within the federal government, the President’s Office of Management & Budget (OMB) ensures that technology advances are properly addressed within each of the federal agency budgets. As the overall budget stakeholder of the federal government, the OMB asks that each agency provide a technology roadmap ties that into the overall goals of the government to its public citizens.

A number of years ago, the OMB established the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) program that enables government decision makers with a comprehensive business-driven blueprint of the entire Federal government. The FEA effort allows the creation of a common playbook that focuses on agency IT investments, and enhances collaboration among federal agencies. The higher-level goal is to drive toward a citizen-centered, results-oriented, and market-based organization as set forth within the President’s Management Agenda (EOP FEA Consolidated Reference Model, 2007).

According to the OMB FEA guidelines, the core principles of this leading effort are:

  • Business-Driven: The OMB recognizes that the FEA is most useful when it is closely aligned with government functional stakeholders – these include personnel who are crafting the agency strategic plans, mission statements, and yearly budgetary initiatives

  • Proactive and Collaborative across the Federal Government: As agencies fully prepare their enterprise architecture, it is important to understand their commonality with other government agencies and that they proactively participate in information sharing. The FEA actively promotes the development, evolution and adoption of a common enterprise architecture framework for use by all government officials

  • Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Government Resources: The direction is to acknowledge that enterprise architecture development is an integral part of the capital investment process, and that no IT investment should be made without a business-approved architecture.

In implementing EA across the federal government, the FEA has developed a set of interrelated EA “Reference Models”. These models have been promoted via the Federal CIO Council to each government agency along with federal contractors, vendors, and corporate organizations.

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