Before we start off with a detailed Architecture Definition, it is important to assess and understand the architecture capability of the organization. It is important to understand the baseline and target capability level of the enterprise. This Capability Assessment is first carried out in Phase A. Later, it is updated in Phase E.
Such capability assessment can be performed on four levels:
Foremost is the capability of the enterprise as a whole. Does the enterprise really want to increase or optimize its capability? In which direction? It is important to understand the focus areas that are aligned with the development path desired by the enterprise.
The enterprise has several components to it. For an enterprise architect, the IT function is an important aspect to assess and evaluate. This includes checking for the capability or maturity level of the IT function within the enterprise? What are the likely implications of conducting the architecture project? Is the design governance, operational governance, skills, and organization structure ready for it?
What is an appropriate style for the architecture project? What is the ideal level of formality or amount of detail required for the architecture project to fit with the culture and capability of the IT organization? What is the maturity level of change and operation process?
It is important to assess the IT function on each of these points, to get an idea about what is possible.
After evaluating the entire enterprise, and the IT function as a whole, we now focus down to the particular architecture function that we want to touch. Is that ready for a change?
What is the capability and maturity of the architecture function within the enterprise? What are the current architectural assets? Are they maintained and accurate? What standards and reference models need to be considered? Are there likely to be opportunities to create re-usable assets during the architecture project?
Where capability gaps exist, to what extent is the business ready to transform in order to reach the target capability? What are the risks to transformation, cultural barriers, and other considerations to be addressed beyond the basic capability gap?
The capability assessment is an important output of the Phase A of the ADM cycle. This includes the following components