What it’s like to listen to the Father of EA, John Zachman

I have seen John Zachman present a hand full of times but never got a chance to write about it. Well Robin Meehan wrote a great post summarizing the experience with the father of Enterprise Architecture for us. Thanks!


Some interesting points of note that triggered my memory bank as well was the very clear omission on process or making the framework actionable. Also how does it relate to other processes (TOGAF, ITIL, etc.). Here are Robin's similar points:

  • There was no content about how to execute an enterprise architecture process and his viewpoint seems quite academic in nature.
  • He openly volunteered that the framework was an ontology but not a method…

You may also be interested in some of my other posts on John Zachman's framework:


0 thoughts on “What it’s like to listen to the Father of EA, John Zachman”

  1. I heard Zachman’s speech once, long ago. From Robin Meehan’s post, the speech looks unchanged over the years, pretty much standard now. But to be fair, how much can one speculate on this approach? Zachman is a forceful, passionate advocate for EA. He is good at selling EA to the world. That pretty much sums it up.
    If you think about a house, you would have to ask yourself the same questions: Why do I need it? Who’s going to live there? What should it look like? Where should it be, in case I buy or build a new one…
    And then you need an architect, designer, parts supplier etc. All good thinking. The matrix just tells you what the involved parts need to do; it does not tell you how to draw the architecture, how to build it…
    Zachman in fact leaves you exactly where the EA architect work begins. It might help an executive make his mind about EA.
    It does not help you build an EA. It asks the initial questions but gives no answers.
    So it is not about EA execution or method, I agree.


  2. Hi Adrian,
    Well put. I agree. Please don’t misunderstand, I believe John has been a key force for wining the hearts and minds that validates our profession. I hope that comes across in the post.
    Like you mention you your comments, he gives us a great way to collect the information. Now we can complement that with other methods to make it actionable.
    Thanks afain for commenting.


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