Many, if not most, US Federal Departments and agencies continue to spend millions of dollars annually on Enterprise Architecture (EA). Few government organizations extract anything of value from their EAs. For a large government agency, the authors matured the EA program with an integrated repository that supports executive decision-makers with actionable, fact-based enterprise viewpoints. The integrated repository and best practice EA methods are being successfully applied to Information Technology (IT) lifecycle governance, portfolio management, strategic planning, and complex multi-program analyses.
The achievement of business value in organizations has been attributed to a higher Enterprise Architecture (EA) maturity level. In attempting to achieve business value, managing performance is necessary because it acts as the sensor to an organization’s management control system. While the Government of Ontario (GO) deserves recognition for instituting corporate governance to ensure its information and information technology (I&IT) initiatives are strategically justified and the proposed solutions are architecturally sound, IT governance goes beyond that. To unlock value from IT investments, the COBIT framework advocates having an internal control system, which measures achievements, evaluates efforts, and signals problem areas, so that an organization deploys its resources and processes appropriately to minimize deviations from desired values. This article presents the case for GO’s EA program, as a means to help fulfill IT governance’s dual- goal of risk management and value creation, to go beyond the alignment and integration decisions to help make EA practices more credible.
After several years of work, implementing enterprise architecture in the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA – a part of the US Dept. of Transportation), in Fall 2009, attention was turned to the question: How to efficiently yet comprehensively audit their implementation of enterprise architecture, to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for future improvement? At that time, US agencies such as OMB and GAO had issued guides for reviewing (or evaluating, appraising, or auditing) government agency implementations of enterprise architecture, but these guides were not completely consistent with one another. A new, harmonizing version was being developed by GAO and was released in August 2010, containing the Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework, Version 2.0 (EAMMF 2.0). This provides a management maturity framework which can permit an organization to achieve increasingly higher states of enterprise architecture management maturity. This article presents a pilot test project developed and conducted within the FRA, using the new EAMMF 2.0 elements and an audit methodology drawn loosely from the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) models and its companion Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) SM appraisal methods. The audit methodology proved to be an efficient way to assess FRA’s efforts in enterprise architecture. Findings also show that FRA’s implementation of enterprise architecture reflects very high enterprise architecture management maturity, suggesting that FRA has positioned itself well to support future initiatives such as the US development of high- speed rail and to continue to coordinate with its many constituencies including the railroad industry, other federal agencies, state and local government railroad agencies, and the public-at-large, to realize the benefits of enterprise architecture, all while dealing with rapid change, value, agility, standards, risk, and transformation.