I ran across an interesting post from Tom Graves on his feedback on TOGAF. Specifically he talks about certification in his post entitled More on TOGAF Certification. I would also encourage you to take a look at a post I wrote entitled: Making sense of EA Standards.
Tom, like myself hopes to provide objective feedback to the architecture community when it comes to standards. I myself have provided some (what I think is) constructive feedback to various frameworks such as Zachman and TOGAF.
In the post, Tom provides some good fodder to think about when it comes to TOGAF certification. I agree with a lot of his points and I view this as an opportunity for the contributing members of TOGAF to add to the certification. To be objective, what is missing from Tom’s assessment is the ITAC certification. I view ITAC as the more comprehensive of the two (TOGAF / ITAC).
On Tom’s four points: reference architectures being out of date, lack of ADM prescriptive usage, scope of EA not just being IT, EA as a professional discipline… I have commented (here ) in various posts in the past but glad that Tom surfaced these as these are known issues not only in the architecture community but also at the Open Group (as Tom points out).
What I want to highlight out of the entire article is a very powerful statement:
an enterprise architecture certification does not and cannot indicate competence: it needs to be balanced by real-world practice. For which, again, crucially, this profession at present has no means to monitor or measure.
I agree with this statement 100%. I think there are ways to measure confidence we have in a architects’ competency, but it isn’t a sure thing.
As an example, Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) program has a measure for determining competency based on a board of MCA professionals. The candidate has a limited amount of time and is often quizzed on what would be included in a Jeopardy episode, "Zachman quadrants for 2000, Alex". This is combined with some real-world discussions around what the architect has done and why they have built a solution in a particular way. The problem however is MCA is solution architect or infrastructure architecture not EA. Determining business forces on why a technology decision is made is not often asked. Whether it is EA or solution architecture, the business considerations must be taken into account. No offense to the MCA folks, I know some of them well and they are good guys but I am providing some constructive feedback.
I would much rather to see something like an apprenticeship (like a carpenter) or residency (medical field) type of program for architects that can prove out their competencies in a real world setting. Like other professions, it is important to go through the educational aspects early on and pass on the knowledge aspects but it must be followed by how an architect implements that knowledge.
Thoughts? Comments? Disagreements?