The Preliminary Phase

The purpose of the preliminary phase is to prepare the organization for successful TOGAF architecture projects. Here, we undertake the preparation and initiation activities required to create an Architecture Capability, including the customization of the TOGAF framework, selection of tools, and the definition of Architecture Principles.

In essence, the preliminary phase is a very generic way of ensuring we are ready for a project. It takes very little (not zero) input from the actual business requirement.


The single, importnat objective of the preliminary phase to ensure we are ready to go. The desire to have an enterprise architecture is essential, but not enough. The Preliminary Phase is meant to ensure that the enterprise has the maturity required to initiate an enterprise architecture.

Desired Architecture Capability

The first objective is to determine the Architecture Capability desired by the organization. What do we want? In order to achieve this,

  • Review the organizational context for conducting Enterprise Architecture
  • Identify and scope the elements of the enterprise organizations affected by the Architecture Capability
  • Identify the established frameworks, methods, and processes that intersect with the Architecture Capability
  • Establish Capability Maturity target

Establish the Capability

Another objective is to establish the architecture capability we need.

  • Define and establish the Organizational Model for Enterprise Architecture
  • Define and establish the detailed process and resources for Architecture Governance
  • Select and implement tools that support the Architecture Capability
  • Define the Architecture Principles


In order to achieve these goals, the TOGAF standard recommends the following steps.

  • Scope the enterprise organizations impacted.
  • Confirm governance and support frameworks
  • Define and establish the Enterprise Architecture team and organization
  • Identify and establish Architecture Principles
  • Tailor the TOGAF framework and, if any, other selected architecture frameworks
  • Develop strategy and implementation plans for tools and techniques

The steps in the Preliminary Phase can be thought of as spiraling inwards. We start with the full enterprise, cutting it down to the set of organizations that we would touch. Then, among these organizations, we identify the frameworks for governance and support of the enterprise architecture. Out of this, we identify the architecture team.

This team can then define the architecture principles. These principles can be used to choose the architecture frameworks, and then tailor the architecture frameworks in place. Finally, with everything in place, we develop the high level strategy and implementation plans for the tools and technologies to be used in the enterprise.

Note that this is not the implementation plan for the architecture. It is the implementation plan for the tools and technologies used to define the architecture.


The preliminary phase is the basis for everything we do. Hence, it starts with very generic inputs.

  • The TOGAF Library
  • Other architecture framework(s)
  • Board strategies, business plans, business strategy, IT Strategy, business principles, business goals, and business drivers
  • Major frameworks operating in the business
  • Governance and legal frameworks
  • Architecture Capability
  • Partnership and contract agreements
  • Existing organizational model for Enterprise Architecture
  • Existing architecture framework, if any - and its Architecture method, content, tools, Architecture Principles and the overall Architecture Repository

These represent the world as is. Nothing is in the control of the enterprise architect. It is the architect's creativity that can make sense out of these inputs and turn it over to developing an enterprise architecture.


The Preliminary phase uses these inputs as it goes through the defined steps. If done well, it produces the following outputs that can lead the following effort towards the enterprise architecture.

  • Organizational Model for Enterprise Architecture
  • Tailored Architecture Framework, including Architecture Principles
  • Initial Architecture Repository
  • Restatement of, or reference to, business principles, business goals, and business drivers
  • Request for Architecture Work
  • Architecture Governance Framework

A well executed Preliminary Phase should provide a for the following phases. It should provide precise guidelines, leaving no confusion in the remaining phases of the enterprise architecture.