Friday, June 22, 2012

Learn How Enterprise Architects Can Better Relate TOGAF and DoDAF to Bring Best IT Practices to Defense Contracts

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect enterprise IT thought leadership podcast on how governments are using multiple architectural frameworks.

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July 16-18 in Washington, D.C.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect thought leadership interview series coming to you in conjunction with the Open Group Conference this July in Washington, D.C. I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host throughout these discussions.

The conference will focus on enterprise architecture (EA), enterprise transformation, and securing global supply chains. Today, we’re here to focus on EA, and how governments in particular are using various frameworks to improve their architectural planning and IT implementations.

Joining us now to delve into this area is one of the main speakers at the July 16 conference, Chris Armstrong, President of Armstrong Process Group. His presentation will also be live-streamed free from The Open Group Conference.

Chris is an internationally recognized thought leader in EA, formal modeling, process improvement, systems and software engineering, requirements management, and iterative and agile development.

Governments in particular are using various frameworks to improve their architectural planning and IT implementation.



Chris represents the Armstrong Process Group at the Open Group, the Object Management Group (OMG), and Eclipse Foundation. Chris also co-chairs The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF), and Model Driven Architecture (MDA) process modeling efforts, and also the TOGAF 9 Tool Certification program, all at The Open Group.

At the conference, Chris will examine the use of TOGAF 9 to deliver Department of Defense (DoD) Architecture Framework or DoDAF 2 capabilities. And in doing so, we'll discuss how to use TOGAF architecture development methods to drive the development and use of DoDAF 2 architectures for delivering new mission and program capabilities. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

So with that, we now welcome to BriefingsDirect, Chris Armstrong.

Chris Armstrong: Great to be here, Dana.

Gardner: Tell our viewers about TOGAF, The Open Group Architecture Framework, and DoDAF. Where have they been? Where are they going? And why do they need to relate to one another more these days?

Armstrong: First of all, TOGAF we look at as a set of essential components for establishing and operating an EA capability within an organization. And it contains three of the four key components of any EA.

First, the method by which EA work is done, including how it touches other life cycles within the organization and how it’s governed and managed. Then, there's a skills framework that talks about the skills and experiences that the individual practitioners must have in order to participate in the EA work. Then, there's a taxonomy framework that describes the semantics and form of the deliverables and the knowledge that the EA function is trying to manage.

One-stop shop

One of the great things that TOGAF has going for it is that, on the one hand, it's designed to be a one-stop shop -- namely providing everything that a end-user organization might need to establish an EA practice. But it does acknowledge that there are other components, predominantly in the various taxonomies and reference models, that various end-user organizations may want to substitute or augment.

It turns out that TOGAF has a nice synergy with other taxonomies, such as DoDAF, as it provides the backdrop for how to establish the overall EA capability, how to exploit it, and put it into practice to deliver new business capabilities.

Frameworks, such as DoDAF, focus predominantly on the taxonomy, mainly the kinds of things we’re keeping track of, the semantics relationships, and perhaps some formalism on how they're structured. There's a little bit of method guidance within DoDAF, but not a lot. So we see the marriage of the two as a natural synergy.

Gardner: So their complementary natures allows for more particulars on the defense side, but the overall looks at the implementation method and skills for how this works best. What has been the case up until now? Have these not been complementary. Is this something new, or are we just learning to do it better?

Armstrong: I think we’re seeing the state of industry advance and looking at trying to have the federal government, both United States and abroad, embrace global industry standards for EA work. Historically, particularly in the US government, a lot of defense agencies and their contractors have often been focusing on a minimalistic compliance perspective with respect to DoDAF. In order to get paid for this work or be authorized to do this work, one of our requirements is we must produce DoDAF.

A lot of defense agencies and their contractors have often been focusing on a minimalistic compliance perspective with respect to DoDAF.



People are doing that because they've been commanded to do it. We’re seeing a new level of awareness. There's some synergy with what’s going on in the DoDAF space, particularly as it relates to migrating from DoDAF 1.5 to DoDAF 2.

Agencies need some method and technique guidance on exactly how to come up with those particular viewpoints that are going to be most relevant, and how to exploit what DoDAF has to offer, in a way that advances the business as opposed to just solely being to conforming or compliant?

Gardner: Well it has prevented folks from enjoying more of that benefit side, rather than the compliance side. Have there been hurdles, perhaps culturally, because of the landscape of these different companies and their inability to have that boundary-less interaction. What’s been the hurdle? What’s prevented this from being more beneficial at that higher level?

Armstrong: Probably overall organizational and practitioner maturity. There certainly are a lot of very skilled organizations and individuals out there. However, we're trying to get them all lined up with the best practice for establishing an EA capability and then operating it and using it to a business strategic advantage, something that TOGAF defines very nicely and which the DoDAF taxonomy and work products hold in very effectively.

Gardner: Help me understand, Chris. Is this discussion that you’ll be delivering on July 16 primarily for TOGAF people to better understand how to implement vis-à-vis, DoDAF, is this the other direction, or is it a two-way street?

Two-way street

Armstrong: It’s a two-way street. One of the big things that particularly the DoD space has going for it is that there's quite a bit of maturity in the notion of formally specified models, as DoDAF describes them, and the various views that DoDAF includes.

We’d like to think that, because of that maturity, the general TOGAF community can glean a lot of benefit from the experience they’ve had. What does it take to capture these architecture descriptions, some of the finer points about managing some of those assets. People within the TOGAF general community are always looking for case studies and best practices that demonstrate to them that what other people are doing is something that they can do as well.

We also think that the federal agency community also has a lot to glean from this. Again, we're trying to get some convergence on standard methods and techniques, so that they can more easily have resources join their teams and immediately be productive and add value to their projects, because they’re all based on a standard EA method and framework.

Gardner: As I mentioned, The Open Group Conference is going to be looking at EA, transformation, security, and supply-chain issues. Does the ability to deliver DoDAF capabilities with TOGAF, and TOGAF 9 in particular, also come to bear on some of these issues about securing supply chain, transforming your organization, and making a wider and more productive use of EA?

Armstrong: Absolutely, and some of that’s very much a part of the new version of DoDAF that’s been out for a little while, DoDAF 2. The current version is 2.02 and 2.03 is being worked on, as we speak.

One of the major changes between DoDAF 1 and DoDAF 2 is the focusing on fitness for purpose.



One of the major changes between DoDAF 1 and DoDAF 2 is the focusing on fitness for purpose. In the past, a lot of organizations felt that it was their obligation to describe all architecture viewpoints that DoDAF suggests without necessarily taking a step back and saying, "Why would I want to do that?"

So it’s trying to make the agencies think more critically about how they can be the most agile, mainly what’s the least amount of architecture description that we can invest and that has the greatest possible value. Organizations now have the discretion to determine what fitness for purpose is.

Then, there's the whole idea in DoDAF 2, that the architecture is supposed to be capability-driven. That is, you’re not just describing architecture, because you have some tools that happened to be DoDAF conforming, but there is a new business capability that you’re trying to inject into the organization through capability-based transformation, which is going to involve people, process, and tools.

One of the nice things that TOGAF’s architecture development method has to offer is a well-defined set of activities and best practices for deciding how you determine what those capabilities are and how you engage your stakeholders to really help collect the requirements for what fit for purpose means.

Gardner: As with the private sector, it seems that everyone needs to move faster. I see you’ve been working on agile development. With organizations like the OMG and Eclipse is there something that doing this well -- bringing the best of TOGAF and DoDAF together -- enables a greater agility and speed when it comes to completing a project?

Register for The Open Group Conference
July 16-18 in Washington, D.C.

Different perspectives

Armstrong: Absolutely. When you talk about what agile means to the general community, you may get a lot of different perspectives and a lot of different answers. Ultimately, we at APG feel that agility is fundamentally about how well your organization responds to change.

If you take a step back, that’s really what we think is the fundamental litmus test of the goodness of an architecture. Whether it’s an EA, a segment architecture, or a system architecture, the architects need to think thoughtfully and considerately about what things are almost certainly going to happen in the near future. I need to anticipate, and be able to work these into my architecture in such a way that when these changes occur, the architecture can respond in a timely, relevant fashion.

We feel that, while a lot of people think that agile is just a pseudonym for not planning, not making commitments, going around in circles forever, we call that chaos, another five letter word. But agile in our experience really demands rigor, and discipline.

Of course, a lot of the culture of the DoD brings that rigor and discipline to it, but also the experience that that community has had, in particular, of formally modeling architecture description. That sets up those government agencies to act agilely much more than others.

Gardner: On another related topic, The Open Group has been involved with cloud computing. We’ve also seen some reference materials and even movement towards demanding that cloud resources be used by the government at large through NIST.

The cloud platform has a lot to offer both government and private organizations, but without trivializing it too much, it’s just another technology platform.



But, I imagine that the DoD is also going to be examining some of these hybrid models. Is there something about a common architectural approach that also sets the stage for that ability, should one decide to avail themselves of some of these cloud models?

Armstrong: On the one hand, the cloud platform has a lot to offer both government and private organizations, but without trivializing it too much, it’s just another technology platform, another paradigm, and a great demonstration of why an organization needs to have some sort of capability in EA to anticipate how to best exploit these new technology platforms.

Gardner: Moving a bit more towards some examples. When we think about using TOGAF 9 to deliver DoD architecture framework capabilities, can you explain what that means in real terms? Do you know of anyone that has done it successfully or is in the process? Even if you can’t name them, perhaps you can describe how something like this works?

Armstrong: First, there has been some great work done by the MITRE organization through their work in collaboration at The Open Group. They’ve written a white paper that talks about which DoDAF deliverables are likely to be useful in specific architecture development method activities. We’re going to be using that as a foundation for the talk we’re going to be giving at the conference in July.

The biggest thing that TOGAF has to offer is that a nascent organization that’s jumping into the DoDAF space may just look at it from an initial compliance perspective, saying, "We have to create an AV-1, and an OV-1, and a SvcV-5," and so on.

Providing guidance

T
OGAF will provide the guidance for what is EA. Why should I care? What kind of people do I need within my organization? What kind of skills do they need? What kind of professional certification might be appropriate to get all of the participants up on the same page, so that when we’re talking about EA, we’re all using the same language?

TOGAF also, of course, has a great emphasis on architecture governance and suggests that immediately, when you’re first propping up your EA capability, you need to put into your plan how you're going to operate and maintain these architectural assets, once they’ve been produced, so that you can exploit them in some reuse strategy moving forward.

So, the preliminary phase of the TOGAF architecture development method provides those agencies best practices on how to get going with EA, including exactly how an organization is going to exploit what the DoDAF taxonomy framework has to offer.

Then, once an organization or a contractor is charged with doing some DoDAF work, because of a new program or a new capability, they would immediately begin executing Phase A: Architecture Vision, and follow the best practices that TOGAF has to offer.

Just what is that capability that we’re trying to describe? Who are the key stakeholders, and what are their concerns? What are their business objectives and requirements? What constraints are we going to be placed under?

As the project unfolds, they're going to discover details that may cause some adjustment to that final target.



Part of that is to create a high-level description of the current or baseline architecture descriptions, and then the future target state, so that all parties have at least a coarse-grained idea of kind of where we're at right now, and what our vision is of where we want to be.

Because this is really a high level requirements and scoping set of activities, we expect that that’s going to be somewhat ambiguous. As the project unfolds, they're going to discover details that may cause some adjustment to that final target.

Gardner: Chris, do you foresee that for a number of these organizations that have been involved with DoDAF mainly in the compliance area being compliant is going to lead them into a larger consumption, use, and exploitation of EA? Or will the majority of organizations that might be trying to move more towards government work as contractors already have a background?

Is there a trend here? It seems to me that if you’re going to have to do this to be compliant, you might as well take advantage of it and extend it across your organization for a variety of very good reasons.

Armstrong: Exactly. We’ve actually had a recent experience with a defense contractor who, for many years, has been required to do program conformance requirement to deliver DoDAF-compliant content. They're actually saying, "We get all that, and that’s all well and good, but through that process, we’ve come to believe that EA, in its own right, is a good thing for us and our organization."

Internalize best practices

So, we're seeing defense contractors being able to internalize some of these best practices, and really be prepared for the future so that they can win the greatest amount of business and respond as rapidly and appropriately as possible, as well as how they can exploit these best practices to affect greater business transformation across their enterprises.

Gardner: Of course the whole notion of fit for purpose ultimately is high productivity, lower cost, and therefore passing on more of those savings to your investors.

Armstrong: A lot of government organizations are really looking at their bottom line, trying to trim costs, and increase efficiency and operation excellence. EA is a proven best practice to deliver that.

Gardner: We mentioned that your discussion on these issues, on July 16 will be live-streamed for free, but you’re also doing some pre-conference and post-conference activities -- webinars, and other things. Tell us how this is all coming together, and for those who are interested, how they could take advantage of all of these.

Armstrong: We’re certainly very privileged that The Open Group has offered this as opportunity to share this content with the community. On Monday, June 25, we'll be delivering a webinar that focuses on architecture change management in the DoDAF space, particularly how an organization migrates from DoDAF 1 to DoDAF 2.

We’ll be talking about things that organizations need to think about as they migrate from DoDAF 1 to DoDAF 2.



I'll be joined by a couple of other people from APG, David Rice, one of our Principal Enterprise Architects who is a member of the DoDAF 2 Working Group, as well as J.D. Baker, who is the Co-chair of the OMG’s Analysis and Design Taskforce, and a member of the Unified Profile for DoDAF and MODAF (UPDM) work group, a specification from the OMG.

We’ll be talking about things that organizations need to think about as they migrate from DoDAF 1 to DoDAF 2. We'll be focusing on some of the key points of the DoDAF 2 meta-model, namely the rearrangement of the architecture viewpoints and the architecture partitions and how that maps from the classical DoDAF 1.5 viewpoint, as well as focusing on this notion of capability-driven architectures and fitness for purpose.

We also have the great privilege after the conference to be delivering a follow-up webinar on implementation methods and techniques around advanced DoDAF architectures. Particularly, we're going to take a closer look at something that some people may be interested in, namely tool interoperability and how the DoDAF meta-model offers that through what’s called the Physical Exchange Specification (PES).

We’ll be taking a look a little bit more closely at this UPDM thing I just mentioned, focusing on how we can use formal modeling languages based on OMG standards, such as UML, SysML, BPMN, and SoaML, to do very formal architectural modeling.

One of the big challenges with EA is, at the end of the day, EA comes up with a set of policies, principles, assets, and best practices that talk about how the organization needs to operate and realize new solutions within that new framework. If EA doesn’t have a hand-off to the delivery method, namely systems engineering and solution delivery, then none of this architecture stuff makes a bit of a difference.

Driving the realization


We're going to be talking a little bit about how DoDAF-based architecture description and TOGAF would drive the realization of those capabilities through traditional systems, engineering, and software development method.

Gardner: Well, great. For those who are interested in learning more about this, perhaps they are coming from the TOGAF side and wanting to learn more about DoDAF or vice-versa, do you have any suggestions about how to get started?

Are there places where there are some good resources that they might use to begin the journey in one direction or the other -- maybe starting from scratch on both -- that would then lead them to better avail themselves of the information that you and The Open Group are going to be providing in the coming weeks.

Armstrong: On APG’s website, we have a free introduction to EA in TOGAF, a web-based tutorial. It’s about 60 minutes, or so, and is designed to get people to have familiarity with some of this content, but would like a little deeper dive. That’s one resource.

EA comes up with a set of policies, principles, assets, and best practices that talk about how the organization needs to operate.



Of course, there is The Open Group’s website. I'm not sure that I would refer people to the TOGAF 9.1 specification as the first starting point, although there is some really good content in the first introduction chapter. But there's also a manager’s guide, or executive guide, that can provide a little bit of a higher-level view of EA from a business perspective, as opposed to a architect practitioner’s perspective.

Of course, there is quite a bit of content out there on the DoD architecture framework and other government frameworks.

Gardner: Thank you so much. I'm afraid we are going to have to leave it there. We’ve been talking with Chris Armstrong, President of the Armstrong Process Group on how governments are using multiple architecture frameworks to improve their architecture planning and IT implementation.

This was a lead-in rather to his Open Group presentation on July 16, which I would like to point out will be live-streamed and free. He's going to be discussing using TOGAF 9 to deliver DoDAF 2 capabilities, and Chris will be exploring the ways at various architecture frameworks, from either perspective, that will be complementing one another as we go forward in this field.

This special BriefingsDirect discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference, July 16 - 20 in Washington D.C. You’ll hear more from Chris and many other global leaders on the ways that IT and EA supporting enterprise transformation. His presentation will also be live-streamed free from The Open Group Conference.

A big thanks to Chris Armstrong for this fascinating discussion. I really look forward to your presentation in Washington, and I encourage our readers and listeners to attend that conference and learn more either in person or online. Thank you, sir.

Armstrong: You are more than welcome, Dana, and thanks so much for the opportunity.

Gardner: You’re very welcome. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator through these thought leader interviews. Thanks again for listening and come back next time.

Register for The Open Group Conference
July 16-18 in Washington, D.C.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect enterprise IT thought leadership podcast on how governments are using multiple architectural frameworks.
Copyright The Open Group and Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.

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