Evaluating the Effectiveness of Reference Models in Federating Enterprise Architectures

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Jeffery A. Wilson, Thomas Mazzuchi, Shahram Sarkani


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.


Jeff Wilson is a doctoral candidate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He received an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy. This article is based on his dissertation research.

Dr. Thomas Mazzuchi is a professor of Engineering Management and Operations Research at the George Washington University. Dr. Mazzuchi holds a DSc from the George Washington University as well. His research interests include reliability and risk analysis, Bayesian inference, quality control, stochastic models of operations research, and time series analysis.

Dr. Shahram Sarkani joined the faculty of the School of Engineering and Applied Science of the George Washington University in 1986 after earning his PhD from Rice University. Since 2001, he has served as faculty advisor for Off-Campus Programs in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering.


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Journal of Enterprise Architecture

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