process improvement

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Auditing the Implementation of Enterprise Architecture at the Federal Railroad Administration

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.

The District of Columbia’s City-Wide Enterprise Architecture

The District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) recently completed a set of Citywide Enterprise Architecture (EA) blueprints that illustrate IT systems and enterprise business processes with a near-term focus of the nine Services Modernization Programs (SMP). The Citywide WA is compliant with the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework Level III. The Citywide EA is comprises four blueprints: business architecture, information architecture, application architecture, and infrastructure architecture. The Citywide EA application blueprint comprises a Services Oriented Architecture for hared software components. Three of these EA blueprints will be published in the District’s IT Strategic Plan 2005-2008. The fourth viewpoint, infrastructure architecture, is classified as Protected Critical Infrastructure Information by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the District is designing long-term Concepts of Operations that constitute strategic program plans and target architectures for each SMP. The District’s to-be planning approach incorporates best practices from Business Process Reengineering and EA.