Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model

In this series of posts I am talking about the Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model (EACM) along with it’s usages. In part 1, I provide an overview of the EACM in the post “The Enterprise Architecture Capability Model (EACM) ”, and in the second post “Ways to apply the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model (EACM)”  I talk about the generic usages.

In this post I will be much more specific with one of those usages, maturity. This is the most obvious and common usage of EA capabilities as they are known today. Unfortunately, I haven’t found many other references out there for EA Capabilities quite like how I have defined them. The referenced Maturity Model in the image below comes from the NASCIO where they use characteristics rather than capabilities. The approach is the same though. The challenge with current EA maturity models is they are incomplete and ad-hoc in their assessments. There isn’t one industry standard model that is universally accepted. The Open Group doesn’t have one and the assessments in the public sector is still evolving.


Mike Walker's Blog: Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model


When you look at the relationships between the EACM and the EA Maturity Model it does a few things for us:

  1. Establishes Criteria – this helps us understand the criteria in which we will populate the EA Maturity Model. While the EACM provides the source content to be populated it also provides a good landscape on what complete looks like.
  2. Guides – When refining the Maturity Model, the EA Maturity Assessment or updating an active assessment content, the EACM is a guide for the development of the Maturity Model. It provides a level of separation of concerns from the model.
  3. Context – When performing an assessment, it often helpful to go back to a reference point to take a broader look at the space. The EACM provides the entire landscape of EA. So if there is confusion of where a detailed assessment fits, you can always peek up and get context of where you are.


When you apply the EACM to either your company’s existing model, an industry model or from another source you can leverage the EACM to heavily influence the maturity model as shown below:

Mike Walker's Blog: Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model

By implementing a maturity model in this fashion you implement a more refined classification system into the maturity assessment. This improves the overall effectiveness of the EA assessment.

There are 4 areas shown above. The first is the influence of the EACM.

The second is the maturity levels themselves. These can be influenced by the EACM. However the EACM is not the primary driver behind these levels. These are either custom for your organization or they are based on some industry standard model. The one referenced above and below is from that pulls from both TOGAF and Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model for Software CMMI. There are other models as well that are very good. This was pulled for illustrative purposes.

Mike Walker's Blog: Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model


The third is the major level one capability areas that are heavily influenced by the EACM. Ideally there should be a one to one mapping to the capabilities. This ensures that you are covering the entire domain of EA in someway. Even if your current maturity level doesn’t allow you to leverage certain capabilities it can provide you with an idea of what areas you can move into.

Mike Walker's Blog: Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model


The fourth area is the detail in the cells, these are the capabilities that would be implemented at this level. There isn’t a one to one map from all the capabilities in the EACM to each maturity level but rather an orchestration for each level of maturity. The EACM provides baseline for establishing maturity levels, areas of capability and the levels of capability as shown below.

Mike Walker's Blog: Using the Enterprise Architecture Capability Model to Drive a Maturity Model


Once the model is implemented your not done. An assessment tool or questioner will need to be built to collect and populate the model. I have built this for my organization and I will see if I can share those questions with all of you.


After the assessment there is one last step. That is a transformation plan. A transformation plan should collected all the inputs from the process of the assessing the maturity of the EA capability of the organization. Through that process you will collect the following:

  • The current level of maturity
  • The desired state of maturity
  • Gaps, issues and concerns
  • Opportunities
  • Inhibitors
  • Refined plan


You maybe surprised by the last bullet, Refined plan. The origination will have an idea where they want to go at the beginning of the process, but when you identify all the above you will find that there maybe tweaks to the desired state.



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