The Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework Version 2 (FEAF-II) describes a suite of tools to help government planners implement the Common Approach.
FEAF-II is fully documented in a 434 paged document, which was launched on January 29, 2013, for internal use in federal agencies, and made public about a year later.
Enterprise Architecture (EA) supports planning and decision-making through documentation and information that provides an abstracted view of an enterprise at various levels of scope and detail. FEAF-II, p.11.
The Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture, released in May 2012 as part of the federal CIO’s policy guidance and management tools for increasing shared approaches to IT service delivery, presents an overall approach to developing and using Enterprise Architecture in the Federal Government. The Common Approach promotes increased levels of mission effectiveness by standardizing the development and use of architectures within and between Federal Agencies. This includes principles for using EA to help agencies eliminate waste and duplication, increase shared services, close performance gaps, and promote engagement among government, industry, and citizens.
The FEAF-II document contains detailed guidance for those who implement the Common Approach. The document contains a detailed overview over tools and methods.
A key part of FEAF-II is the Consolidated Reference Model (CRM), which equips OMB and Federal agencies with a common language and framework to describe and analyze investments. It consists of a set of interrelated reference models that describe the six sub-architecture domains in the framework:
These are designed to facilitate cross-agency analysis and the identification of duplicative investments, gaps and opportunities for collaboration within and across agencies. Also, by applying all six reference models, agencies can establish a line of sight from the strategic goals at the highest organizational level to the software and hardware infrastructure that enable achievement of those goals. Collectively, the reference models comprise a framework for describing important elements of federal agency operations in a common and consistent way.
To apply the framework to an agency’s specific environment, the agency should develop a set of “core” artifacts to document its environment within the framework presented by the CRM. Each sub-architecture domain represents a specific area of the overall framework and has particular artifacts, based on EA best practices, which are described and recommended in the internal Framework and Artifacts document. The type and depth of documentation actually used by the agency should be guided by the need for detail and answers to questions about requirements, applicable standards, timeframes, and available resources.
The real value to the agency of developing an Enterprise Architecture is to facilitate planning for the future in a way that transforms the government while making it more efficient. The agency can use the EA process to describe the enterprise as it currently is and determine what the enterprise should look like in the future, so that it can make plans to transition from the current state to the future state.
The Collaborative Planning Methodology provides steps for planners to use throughout the planning process to flesh out a transition strategy that will enable the future state to become reality.
The agency will create an Enterprise Roadmap to document the current and future architecture states at a high level and presents the transition plan for how the agency will move from the present to the future in an efficient, effective manner. The agency’s Enterprise Roadmap combines the artifacts developed for the EA, both current and future state versions, with a plan developed through the Collaborative Planning Methodology. This creates awareness, visibility and transparency within an organization to facilitate cross-organization planning and collaboration. It maps strategy to projects and budget and helps identify gaps between investment and execution, as well as dependencies and risks between projects.
All in all, the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework v2 helps to accelerate agency business transformation and new technology enablement by providing standardization, analysis and reporting tools, an enterprise roadmap, and a repeatable architecture project method that is more agile and useful and will produce more authoritative information for intra- and inter-agency planning, decision-making, and management.