Terms and Definitions

Sources: E-Gov Act of 2002, OMB Circular A-11 (July 2011), OMB Circular (November 2001) and other publications.  

Actionable means architecture analysis and documentation that is used by executives, managers, and staff to support resource planning, decision-making, and management.

Agency means any executive department, military department, bureau, government corporation, government-controlled corporation, independent regulatory agency, or other organization in the Executive Branch of the United States Federal Government.

Alignment means conformance to a policy, standard, and/or goal.

Architecture means a systematic approach that organizes and guides design, analysis, planning, and documentation activities.

Architecture Segment means a part of the overall EA that documents one or more lines of business, including all levels and threads.

Artifact means a documentation product, such as a text document, diagram, spreadsheet, briefing slides, or video clip.

Application Reference Model (ARM) version 1.0 is one of six reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 2.0. It is a classification taxonomy used to describe the type of software applications in a particular architecture at the system, segment, agency, sector, federal, national, or international level. The ARM can help to identify opportunities for collaboration, shared services, and solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and inter-agency Lines of Business.

Baseline Architecture is the set of products that portray the existing enterprise, the current business practices, and technical infrastructure. Commonly referred to as the “As-Is” architecture

Business Case means a collection of descriptive and analytic information about an investment in resource(s) and/or capabilities.

Business Reference Model (BRM) version 3.0 is one of six reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 3.0. It is a classification taxonomy used to describe the type of business functions and service types in a particular solution architecture at the system, segment, agency, sector, federal, national, or international level. The taxonomy identifies business function and sub-function areas as well as related services that are performed within and between federal agencies and with external partners. The BRM can help to identify opportunities for collaboration, shared services, and solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and inter-agency Lines of Business.

Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) means the same as capital programming and is a decision-making process for ensuring IT investments integrate strategic planning, budgeting, procurement, and the management of IT in support of agency missions and business needs. The term comes from the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and generally is used in relationship to IT management issues. CPIC includes a management process for ongoing identification, selection, control, and evaluation of investments in IT. The CPIC process links budget formulation and execution, and is focused on agency missions and achieving specific program outcomes.

Change Management means the process of setting expectations and involving stakeholders in how a process or activity will be changed, so that the stakeholders have some control over the change and therefore may be more accepting of the change.

Chief Information Officers Council (CIO Council) refers to the Federal CIO Council that was established in the E-Government Act of 2002.

Composite means an artifact that uses several documentation modeling techniques and/or represents several types of EA components.

Configuration Management means the process of managing updates to business and technology resources (e.g., processes, systems, applications, and networks) to ensure that security controls are operating effectively and that standards are being followed.

Crosscutting Segment serves several Lines of Business within or between agencies. Examples include email systems that serve the whole enterprise, and financial systems that serve several lines of business.

Culture means the beliefs, customs, values, structure, normative rules, and material traits of a social organization. Culture is evident in many aspects of how an organization functions.

Current View means a collection of artifacts that represent processes and technologies that currently exist in the enterprise.

Data refers to an elementary description of things, events, activities, and transactions that are recorded, classified, and stored, but not organized to convey any specific meaning. Data items can be numeric, alphabetic, figures, sounds, or images. A database consists of stored data items organized for retrieval.

Data Reference Model (DRM) version 2.0 is one of six reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 2.0. It is a classification taxonomy used to describe the context for information exchanges and the type of data entities and attributes in a particular solution architecture at the system, segment, agency, sector, federal, national, or international level. The DRM can help to identify opportunities for collaboration, shared services, and solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and inter-agency Lines of Business.

Electronic Government means the use by the Federal Government of web-based Internet applications and other information technologies, combined with processes that implement these technologies, to (a) enhance the access to and delivery of Government information and services to the public, other agencies, and other Government entities, or (b) bring about improvements in Government operations that may include effectiveness, efficiency, service quality, or transformation.

Enterprise means an area of common activity and goals within an organization or between several organizations, where information and other resources are exchanged.

Enterprise Architecture means a strategic information asset base, which defines the mission; the information necessary to perform the mission, the technologies necessary to perform the mission, and the transitional processes for implementing new technologies in response to changing mission needs; and includes a baseline architecture, a target architecture, and a sequencing plan.

Enterprise Roadmap refers to the document that is produced at least annually by the organization responsible for the enterprise (usually a Federal Agency) and which describes the current and future views of the enterprise-wide architecture, how changes occur, and how the EA program functions.

Executive Agency has the meaning defined in section 4(1) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403(1)).

Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) is a business-based documentation and analysis framework for government-wide improvement. The FEA allows agencies to use standardized methods to describe the relationship between an agency’s strategic goals, business functions, and enabling technologies at various levels of scope and complexity. The FEA is comprised of a framework for documentation in six domain areas (strategic goals, business services, data and information, systems and applications, infrastructure, and security) and six reference models areas that are designed to facilitate standardized analysis, reporting, and the identification of duplicative investments, gaps, and opportunities for collaboration within and across federal agencies. The FEA method is based on a 5-step repeatable method for solution architecture that can be used at various levels of scope and provides current views, future views, and a transition (sequencing) plan.

Federal IT Dashboard is a website enabling federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details including performance for federal information technology investments.

Framework means a structure for organizing information that defines the scope of the architecture (what will be documented) and how the areas of the architecture are related.

Future View means a collection of artifacts that represent processes and technologies that do not yet exist in the enterprise.

Governance means a group of policies, decision-making procedures, and management processes that work together to enable the effective planning and oversight of activities and resources.

Government Information means information created, collected, processed, disseminated, or disposed of by or for the Federal Government.

Government Publication means information which is published as an individual document at government expense, or as required by law. (44 U.S.C. 1901)

Horizontal Segment means a crosscutting process, program, or resource that serves several Lines of Business.

Information means any communication or representation of knowledge such as facts, data, or opinions in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audiovisual forms.

Information Life Cycle means the stages through which information passes, typically characterized as creation or collection, processing, dissemination, use, storage, and disposition.

Information Management means the planning, budgeting, manipulating, and controlling of information throughout its life cycle.

Information Resources includes both government information and IT.

Information Resources Management means the process of managing information resources to accomplish agency missions. The term encompasses both information itself and the related resources, such as personnel, equipment, funds, and IT.

Information Resource Management Strategic Plan is strategic in nature and addresses all information resources management of the agency. Agencies must develop and maintain the agency’s IRM strategic plan as required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(b) (2). IRM strategic plans should conform to guidance provided annually in OMB Circular A–11, provide a description of how IT management activities help accomplish agency missions delivery area and program decision, and ensure decisions are integrated with management support areas including organizational planning, budget, procurement, financial management, and HR.

Information Security involves all functions necessary to meet federal Information Security policy requirements. It includes the development, implementation and maintenance of security policies, procedures and controls across the entire information lifecycle. This includes implementation and activities associated with NIST SP-800-37, Security Awareness training, SP-800-39 regarding the implementation of a Risk Management Framework and continuous monitoring, SP-800-53A security controls, and FISMA compliance reporting, development of security policy, and security audits and testing.

Information System means a discrete set of IT, data, and related resources, such as personnel, hardware, software, and associated information technology services organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination or disposition of information in accordance with defined procedures, whether automated or manual.

Information System Life Cycle means the phases through which an information system passes, typically characterized as initiation, development, operation, and termination.

Information Technology (IT) means any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data or information by an executive agency. IT is related to the terms Capital Asset, IT Investment, Program, Project, Sub-project, Service, and System.

Information Technology Investment means the expenditure of IT resources to address mission delivery and management support. An IT investment may include a project or projects for the development, modernization, enhancement, or maintenance of a single IT asset or group of IT assets with related functionality and the subsequent operation of those assets in a production environment. While each asset or project would have a defined life-cycle, an investment that covers a collection of assets intended to support an ongoing business mission may not.

Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM) version 1.0 is one of six reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 2.0. It is a classification taxonomy used to describe the type of voice, data, video, cloud, and mobile host environments in a particular solution architecture at the system, segment, agency, sector, federal, national, or international level. The IRM can help to identify opportunities for collaboration, shared services, and solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and inter-agency Lines of Business.

Interoperability means the ability of different operating and software systems, applications, and services to communicate and exchange data in an accurate, effective, and consistent manner.

Knowledge consists of data or information that have been organized and processed to convey understanding, experience, accumulated learning, and expertise as they apply to a current problem or activity. Data that are processed to extract critical implications and to reflect past experience and expertise provide the recipient with organizational knowledge, which has a very high potential value.

Line of Business (LOB) means a specific operating unit or shared service that exists within or between agencies. LOBs are also OMB-authorized service providers for the Federal Government, managed by designated executive agencies.

Major Investment means a program requiring special management attention because of its importance to the mission or function of the agency, a component of the agency, or another organization; has significant program or policy implications; has high executive visibility; has high development, operating, or maintenance costs; is funded through other than direct appropriations; or is defined as major by the agency’s capital planning and investment control process. OMB may work with the agency to declare other investments as major investments. Agencies should consult with the respective OMB agency budget officer or analyst about what investments to consider as “major” and for those an OMB Circular A-11 Exhibit 300 annual submission is required. IT investments not considered “major” are categorized in the annual Exhibit 53 IT budget request submission as “non-major.”

Managing Partner represents the agency designated as the lead agency responsible for coordinating the implementation of the E-Gov or Line of Business (LoB) initiative. The managing partner is also responsible for coordinating and submitting the Exhibit 300 for the initiative and the Exhibit 300 will be represented as part of the managing partner’s budget portfolio. Please refer to the OMB MAX portal for additional information on managing partner reporting requirements for IT investments.

Meta Context is the highest level context for understanding an idea, design, enterprise.

Methodology (sometimes called “approach”) refers to the repeatable process by which architecture documentation will be developed, archived, and used; including the selection of principles, a framework, modeling tools, artifacts, repository, reporting, and auditing.

Mission Statement is a succinct description of why the enterprise exists.

New IT Investment means an IT investment and its associated projects newly proposed by the agency that has not been previously funded by OMB. This does not include investments existing within the agency that have not previously been reported to OMB.

National Security System means any telecommunications or information system operated by the United States Government, the function, operation, or use of which (1) involves intelligence activities; (2) involves cryptologic activities related to national security; (3) involves command and control of military forces; (4) involves equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system; or (5) is critical to the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions, but excluding any system that is to be administrative and business applications (including payroll, finance, logistics, and personnel management applications).

Non-Major Investment means an IT investment not meeting the definition of major as defined above but is part of the agency’s IT Portfolio. All non-major investments are reported on the Exhibit 53.

On-Going Investment means an investment and its associated assets, including both maintenance projects and operations that have been through a complete budget cycle with OMB with respect to the President’s Budget for the current year.

Operations mean the day-to-day management of an asset in the production environment and include activities to operate data centers, help desks, data centers, telecommunication centers, and end user support services. Operational activities for major IT investments are reported through Section C of the Exhibit 300B. Operational costs include the expenses associated with an IT asset that is in the production environment to sustain an IT asset at the current capability and performance levels including Federal and contracted labor costs; and costs for the disposal of an asset.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) means the phase of an asset in which the asset is in operations and produces the same product or provides a repetitive service. O&M is the same as “steady state.”

Partner Agency represents the agency for an E-Gov or LOB initiative designated as an agency that should provide resources (e.g., funding, FTEs, in-kind) to the management, development, deployment, or maintenance of a common solution. The partner agency is also responsible for including the appropriate line items in its Exhibit 53 reflecting the amount of the contribution for each of the E-Gov or LOB initiatives to which it is providing resources.

Performance Gap is an identified activity or capability that is lacking within the enterprise, which causes the enterprise to perform below desired levels or not achieve strategic or tactical goals.

Performance Reference Model (PRM) ) supports architectural analysis and reporting in the strategy sub-architecture view of the overall EA. The PRM allows agencies to better manage the business of government at a strategic level, by providing a means for using the EA to measure the success of investments and their impact on strategic outcomes. The PRM shows the linkage between internal business components and the achievement of business and customer-centric outputs and outcomes. This line of sight is articulated through the PRM’s hierarchical taxonomy and the use of “Measurement Area”, “Category”, “Grouping”, and “Indicator” information areas.

Primitive means an artifact that uses one modeling technique to describe one type of EA component.

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is a process for examining the risks and ramifications of using information technology to collect, maintain and disseminate information in identifiable form from or about members of the public, and for identifying and evaluating protections and alternative processes to mitigate the impact to privacy of collecting such information. Consistent with OMB M–03–22, implementing the privacy provisions of the E-Government Act, agencies must conduct and make publicly available PIAs for all new or significantly altered IT investments administering information in identifiable form collected from or about members of the public.

Program means an ongoing set of activities and projects managed in a coordinated way.

Project means a temporary activity to create a unique product, service, or result.

Quality Assurance is the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service or facility to maximize the probability that standards of quality are being attained by the production process.

Records includes all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of data in them. Library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference and stocks of publications and of processed documents are not included.

Records Management means the planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involved with respect to records creation, records maintenance and use, and records disposition in order to achieve adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government and effective and economical management of agency operations. (44 U.S.C. 2901(2))

Reference Architecture is an authoritative source of information about a specific subject area that guides and constrains the instantiations of multiple architectures and solutions.

Security Reference Model (SRM) version 1.0 is one of six reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 2.0. It is a classification taxonomy used to describe the type of security controls in a particular architecture at the system, segment, agency, sector, federal, national, or international level. The SRM can help to identify opportunities for collaboration, shared services, and solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and inter-agency Lines of Business.

Segment Architecture is a detailed, results-oriented architecture (baseline and target) and a transition strategy for a portion or segment of the enterprise. Segments are individual elements of the enterprise describing core mission areas and common or shared business services and enterprise services. They provide the core linkage of the IT Investment Portfolio to the Agency’s performance management system. As such, segments are designed to be common across programs that support the same mission area. Increasingly, shared segments will be common across the government and agencies should plan to use approved government-wide shared segments as their target architecture.

Service Consumer means an agency or business unit that receives business or technology service(s) from a Line of Business provider. A service consumer may be either internal or external to the organization responsible for providing services.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a set of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services

Service Provider means an agency or business unit that provides business or technology service(s) as a Line of Business consumer(s). This includes a discrete set of personnel, IT, and support equipment with the primary function of providing service(s) to more one or more other agencies or business units on a reimbursable basis.

Shared Service means a mission or support function provided by one business unit to other business units within or between organizations.

Solution Architecture is a standardized method of identifying business requirements and viable technology solutions within the context of a single agency’s enterprise architecture or a multi-agency sector or government-wide/international architecture. Solution architecture includes current and future views as well as transition plans at a number of levels of scope including applications, systems, segments, enterprise, sector, government-wide, national, and international. The Federal Solution Architecture Methodology (FSAM) is the repeatable process for doing solution architecture through projects at various levels of scope in the federal sector.

Stakeholder means those who are or will be affected by a program, activity, or resource.

System means a tangible IT asset that is comprised of hardware devices, software applications, databases, users, processes, and security controls.

Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is guidance, policies, and procedures, for developing systems throughout their life cycle, including requirements, design, implementation testing, deployment, operations, and maintenance.

Target Architecture is the representation of a desired future state or “to be built” for the enterprise within the context of the strategic direction

Vision Statement is the part of a strategic plan that succinctly describes the competitive strategy of the enterprise.

Web-enabled means applications and services that are accessed through a web browser and function through an internal and/or external Internet-protocol based collaboration environment (e.g., Internet, local area network, wide area network, public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud).





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