This article proposes a Complex Adaptive Architecture (CAA) method to architect an organic enterprise. It presents a complicated concept in a simple 3×3 matrix bonded by three architecture theories and a three-tiered architecture approach. CAA recognizes that SOA and Cloud Computing is a horizontal architecture practice which cannot be accomplished with the traditional top-down approach. The horizontal architecture consists of the discipline of learning from the experience of others, the discipline of engineering of re-use and consolidation, and the discipline to facilitate buy-in from stakeholders. CAA also discovers that the business community is making decisions based on influence relation rather than structural relation. Coherence Architecture theory is based on enterprise influence modeling and coherence modeling for the purpose of supporting enterprise strategic planning and decision-making. The Coherence Architecture consists of the discipline of influence modeling and the discipline of analogical reasoning. CAA embraces continuous change with a three-tiered architecture approach. The initial tier is the Notional Architecture which serves much like a master plan in city planning. The second tier is the Segment Architecture to close the business performance gaps due to change. The third tier is the daily Enterprise Architecture (EA) to enable an agile solution architecture.
Reference models to federate enterprise architectures across multiple agencies are investigated as a means to provide greater mission effectiveness and increased efficiencies. While heuristic and qualitative approaches to federating enterprise architectures have led to the increased use of reference models, their actual effectiveness and value have not been quantified. Federal departments and agencies are under increasing pressure to provide effective government and citizen services with improved efficiency. Enterprise architectures are used to align agencies’ strategic goals and business objectives to resources. As agencies collaborate with each other to achieve better strategic performance and resource savings, the ability to share information about their enterprise architectures is critical to their success. The expected effectiveness of reference models in federating enterprise architectures was quantified employing the classical method of expert judgment. A structured discussion instrument to evaluate reference models was developed and piloted using well-established guidelines for expert judgment. The resulting instrument was used in structured discussions with architects and engineers who are members of an architecture working group across multiple federal government agencies. Reference models were determined to be effective for federating enterprise architectures where participating agencies align their component architectures to the common taxonomy provided by the reference models.
This article describes the evolution of the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) Enterprise Architecture (EA) from an under-developed state that primarily focused on the technology architecture to its current position as a model for other agencies. This was evidenced by the high rating of DOI’s EA (4.0 out of 5.0) among all federal EA programs in June 2005 from the Office of Management and Budget. This article presents the evolution of the Department’s EA over the past three years in terms of the development and application of a set of techniques that have facilitated business transformation at a sustainable rate while achieving broad organizational buy-in. This article will also include a detailed examination of various approaches to EA, a discussion of key fundamentals identified during the process and lessons learned.