Tailor Architecture Framework

The magnanimity of an enterprise level architecture project can be scary - even for the most experienced architects. TOGAF can help us overcome this initial panic, by providing a guide at steps. It provides systematic "codified common sense", by capturing the experience of the experienced. It provides a baseline to start off with the initial set of resources to be reused from the library. The TOGAF library also defines reference material that can be used to start populating the Enterprise Continuum.

However, in order to use the TOGAF framework effectively on an architecture project, it is important to tailor the framework at different levels. This is a necessary step in the Preliminary Phase.

Tailor for Enterprise

First step is to tailor the TOGAF model for integration into the enterprise.

Integration with management frameworks

There is no clear line of demarcation between architecture and management - or any two disciplines for that matter. We always have an overlap, and for that overlap to be smooth, we need to ensure that the management framework in use works well with TOGAF. Without a seamless integration with the management framework, the architect can have a miserable time bridging between the two.

Customization of Terminology

This one may seem trivial, but it is not. We can have a chaos, if two people in the same organization do not use a consistent terminology. It is important that we customize and formalize the TOGAF terminology to make it consistent with that in the enterprise.

Development of Presentational Styles

Along with the terminology, we need to have consistency in all forms of communication. Presentations are perhaps the most important form of communication at the enterprise level. Hence, we need to develop a good and consistent presentation style for the enterprise.

Architectural Tools

The tools used for enterprise architecture development need to be standardized based on the criteria (cost, security, et) set the organization. The architect needs to select, configure and deploy the required architecture tools that can be used over the architecture project.

Overall Alignment with the Organization

For a project to succeed, it is important to have a general overall alignment with the organization - the formality and detail of any frameworks adopted with culture, stakeholders, commercial models, and the existing level of Architecture Capability. The architecture framework needs to be tailored to ensure this alignment.

Tailor for Project

As we tailor the framework for the enterprise, we should also tailor it for the specific project at hand.

Architecture Method

The architecture method depends upon the project at hand, on the complexity and domains that it addresses. The TOGAF framework is quite generic and it needs to be carved and tailored as per the requirements of the current project.

Architecture Content, Deliverables and Artifacts

Everyone has faced the frustration of having to generate documents and deliverables for the heck of it. Everyone knows that the deliverable will be thrashed the moment it is delivered, yet we do it because it is a requirement of the framework in use.

In order to avoid such waste of effort, we need to tailor the framework to ensure it requires just what is necessary and sufficient in the context of the architecture project.

Configured and Deployed Tools

Often the architect does not get all the freedom to demand all the tools as per his choice. Often, the project demands have to override his choices. Hence, it is important to tailor the framework to use the tools available.

General Alignment with Constraints

The architecture can not be developed apart from the project. The architect has to take care of interfacing with governance models and other frameworks - including Corporate Business Planning, existing Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio, Program, Project Management, System Development/Engineering, Operations (Services), etc. The framework needs to be tailored for ensuring this interfacing is seamless.