The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture Version 3

Last week John Zachman released the third edition of his EA Framework. Like with other versions seen below, he has made iterative refinements to the model. After many years as noted as being a framework, it is slowing starting to shift to what it materially represents, an ontology. While there is no formal rename there is additional classification of the framework below the new title.

Mike Walker's Blog: The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture Version 3

Zachman International sent a press release (New Zachman Framework™ Announcement) and a conference in August 23rd 2011 to a dedicated few at an announcement conference.

Ron Ross provides insights from the event in his blog post on his “quick notes”. It’s an interesting read and I agree with most of the opinions their as well. I will provide more thoughts once the formal details are released.


Zachman Framework Version 3

Mike Walker's Blog: The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture Version 3


More Information:



Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program Video

Back in June I posted an overview (Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program) of the services organization I joined last year.

Recently the team put together a great overview video of the program. Very creative and I think will resonate with a lot of architects that do the same or similar activities.   

Keep in mind, this isn’t a shameless marketing plug. Just an interesting video. Enjoy!



You can find more videos and case studies at:

The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) Program Distilled

Mike Walker's Blog: The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) Program Distilled

In my last post I announced that I received my Open CA certification with a brief description on it, along with the differentiation between Open CA and TOGAF certification. This post actually sprung a series of questions from folks wanting to know more information on the certification program. I thought I would share my “Distilled” version to you here in one post and you can refer to the detailed stuff on the Open CA site.

Brief Overview

The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) certification program – formerly ITAC – was created in 2005 and now has over 3,150 certified people from 160 companies in over 60 countries worldwide. Open CA is the market-leading independent benchmark by which to identify the existence and validity of an IT or Enterprise Architect‟s skills and experience.

The overview video can be found here: Open CA Overview

The Open CA program allows individuals to differentiate themselves from other IT professionals by achieving a certification that is:

  • Skills and experience-based – Open CA goes beyond validating the mastery of any specific knowledge base, ensuring that certified IT Architects possess and exhibit characteristics commensurate with professional criteria based on best practices.
  • Peer-reviewed – You attend three one-hour Board reviews by certified IT Architects who ensure that your skills and experience meet the qualification standards.
  • Vendor-neutral – Open CA certification criteria are developed by a consortium of globally-recognized industry leaders and the programs are administered by The Open Group – a trusted, vendor-neutral organization.
  • Global – The program adheres to a worldwide set of standards.
  • Portable – Certification applies to the individual and not the organization and is therefore fully transferable.



The Process


The program is based upon four key documents:

  1. The Certification Policy, which sets out the policies and processes by which an individual may achieve certification.
  2. The Conformance Requirements, in which the skills and experience that a Certified Architect must possess are documented
  3. The Accreditation Policy, which sets out the policies and processes by which an organization may achieve accreditation
  4. The Accreditation Requirements, in which the criteria that must be met by an ACP are documented



Levels of Certification
There are three levels to the Open CA certification. The level depends on where you are at individually on your architecture career path (i.e., the length and characteristics of your experiences).  When I was researching this for my certification I reviewed the Certification Guide, Conformance Requirements (Multi-Level) and the Open CA Self-Assessment. 

Just like all certifications, I would suggest to be humble and honest with yourself when selecting the right level for you. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure if you just not ready yet. It’s OK to be a level 1 or level 2 architect, both are very respectable and difficult to achieve.

Each level is shown below:


Mike Walker's Blog: Open CA Certification Levels


These levels as shown above are described as follows:

  • Level 1: Certified – able to perform with assistance/supervision, with a wide range of appropriate
    skills, as a contributing architect
  • Level 2: Master – able to perform independently and take responsibility for delivery of systems
    and solutions as a lead architect
  • Level 3: Distinguished – effects significant breadth and depth of impact on the business via one
    of three advanced career paths: Chief /Lead Architect, Enterprise Architect, or IT Architect
    Profession Leader


Advanced Career Paths

So you maybe wondering, what is the difference between these advanced career paths specified in level 3. I wondered that myself as well. I had to dig a little to find it but I finally did. Below is an updated version of the model with the key theme for each career path.


Mike Walker's Blog: Open CA Certification Levels


As seen above:

  • Chief / Lead Architect is focused on the strategic and broad impact that EA promises. This level not only leads major initiatives but also runs an Enterprise Architecture organization in a role of Chief Architect.
  • Enterprise Architect is a very deep expert in the art and science behind architecture. This person lead major initiatives and has impact on the business through bespoke technology savvy.
  • Profession Leader represents the architecture profession. Think of this person as an enterprise architecture evangelist. In most cases this person is running EA communities within a company, up-leveling competencies of their architecture capability, discovering and applying new architecture practices and most likely doing a great deal of publishing.


Below is a cheat sheet I created during my research. It’s an image that you can download and use. If you want to modify or tweak to a format of your own, a text based version is below it.

Mike Walker's Blog: Open CA Level 3 Career Paths


or text version:

Chief/Lead IT Architect

Enterprise IT Architect

Profession Leader

Strategic and Broad Business Impact

Expert in IT Architecture

Represents the IT Architect Profession

The role of the Chief/Lead IT Architect is:

· To initiate, business justify, and lead projects for the development of new and sufficiently complex components within the enterprise architecture in the areas of information, applications, and technology, in order to meet business objectives

· To establish an architectural framework that is the foundation for other systems across the organization and is essential for the proper execution and delivery of critical and strategic business systems

· To implement organizational-wide initiatives aimed at supporting the enablement of the IT Architect community through the development of tooling, education, or career enhancement

The role of the Enterprise Architect is:

· To lead the creation and realization of sufficiently complex enterprise architectures

· To establish an architectural framework that is the foundation for other systems across the enterprise and is essential for the proper execution and delivery of critical and strategic business systems

· To implement enterprise-wide initiatives aimed at supporting the enablement of the Enterprise and IT Architect community through the development of tooling, education, or career enhancement

The role of the IT Architect Profession Leader is:

· To promote, establish, or maintain the need, value, and presence of an organization’s IT Architect profession (or architecture consulting practice)

· To evangelize the IT Architect profession within the organization and externally to promote the continued development and effective utilization of the IT Architect community

· To develop and/or maintain and deploy an organization’s IT Architect profession career development model

· To establish and manage an IT Architect profession skills and experienced-based profession model that includes a rigorous validation process (for example, Open CA certification – direct or indirect)

The Chief/Lead IT Architect is:

· An expert in the understanding of architectural principles and their implications to system design, securability, system extensibility and interoperability, costs, and operational considerations

· A student of the profession that is constantly learning and applying new techniques and technologies and seeks to design new innovative architectural solutions

The Enterprise Architect is:

· An expert in the understanding of architectural principles and their application to business architecture, performance management, organizational structure, and process architecture as well as IT architectural aspects such as system design, security, cost, and operational considerations

· A student of the profession that is constantly learning and applying new techniques and technologies and seeking to design new innovative architectural solutions

· A contributor to the profession; by providing best practices and concepts to refine enterprise architecture methodologies, frameworks, and techniques based on practical experiences

The Enterprise Architect is:

· An experienced practitioner who retains the understanding of architectural principles and their implications to system design, securability, system extensibility and interoperability, costs, and operational considerations

· A student of the profession that is constantly learning how the organization can utilize and apply new techniques and technologies and seeks to design new innovative architectural solutions

· An effective leader who influences organizational structure by leading an organization’s IT Architect profession programs and initiatives


I hope you found this helpful. If you are thinking of becoming Open CA certified, best of luck and I hope these materials helped accelerate you on your journey.


For more information see these resources:


It’s Official, I’m a Open CA Level 3: Distinguished Chief Architect

Mike Walker's Blog: Mike Walker Open CA Certified Level 3 Distinguished Chief Architect

As some of you may have noticed on my twitter feed, I have been activity doing research the Open CA certification. Through the research and it’s reputation, I decided that I would take it based on my findings. I am happy to announce that I passed my Level 3: Distinguished Chief / Lead Architect certification!

I have to say, what a great experience this was. Not because it was easy, it was actually quite a lot of work and it is a very serious certification that wasn’t easy at all. But rather, I was amazed by how professional the whole process was. The formality from the beginning to the end showed there was no variability in the process and no hint of any sort of subjectivity in the process. This is what an Enterprise Architecture certification must provide. Additionally, the certification board that interviewed me was top notch. I was humbled to be interviewed by such professionals with their level of experience and knowledge in EA and other fields.

A big thank you to the Open Group and the members of the board that interviewed me.


Some maybe wondering what is Open CA. How is it different from what people commonly think of from an EA certifications or the differences in Open CA and TOGAF certifications. The Open Group has two certification programs: TOGAF and Open CA (formerly ITAC). These two are very different certifications. They are for two different purposes. 

  • TOGAF Certification – in simplest terms, TOGAF certification validates that you know the TOGAF specification to a great level of detail. This certification excludes validating that you are an architect. So by this rule, a non-architect that studies the TOGAF materials can be TOGAF certified. One can learn the TOGAF book and do a multiple choice computer based exam. If the exam is done in good standing, the architect is certified. TOGAF certification looks very much like most exam based certifications (e.g., PRINCE 2) certification for project managers.
  • Open CA Certification – is primarily concerned with the competencies that an architect possesses. In other words, how an architect thinks through solving a set of broad highly impactful enterprise problems to realize business value. For Open CA certification, it is not needed to be TOGAF certified or even know the TOGAF framework , that is one of many validated frameworks. One must prove to be able to have done architectural work in real life situations for many years. Open CA certification is very much like PMI certification for project managers that require detailed documentation, letters verifying your experience and a set of interviews to validate what was documented.


It is extremely important to have the TOGAF certification as well as the Open CA. Both are important and both have roles. As I stated above, TOGAF certifies that you have the skills to know what are the architecture practices, methods, models, tools and mental models. However, Open CA certifies that you have the competencies to do architecture well by validating how you do architecture.


So the difference in my mind: TOGAF = Skills and ITAC = Competencies


There are approximately 2,500 Open CA at three levels combined and 7,200 TOGAF 9 certified architects in 50 countries around the world.

The Open CA certification is an international standard. There are three levels:

  1. Certified IT Architect

  2. Master Certified IT Architect

  3. Distinguished Certified IT Architect


Level 1 is the easiest to get, level 3 the hardest.


To get Open CA certification, a certification package must be created by the applicant. This certification package must contain proof of the various Open CA conformance requirements, including signed documents letters from people you worked with. A level of quality control here is  that these reference letters can not come from a direct report of yours nor can it come from one of you direct line managers either.

After the certification package is applied, the architect is invited to visit a certification board. The architect must then present a case from his certification package to the certification board. The certification board will ask questions to the architect. And if all goes well, the architect can receive certification.

The requirements that lead to the certification package are not easy to conform to. Below are some resources to give you more information:


The Open CA certification is very hard to get, but it is a very valuable title to have as an architect.

Video – What is Enterprise Architecture According to Industry Thought Leaders

Penn State University pulled together a video interview of industry thought leaders to get their perspectives on Enterprise Architecture.


Architects Interviewed

  • Len Fehskens – VP of Skills and Capabilities – The Open Group
  • Rebekah Metz – Director of US Commercial Ops – Pfizer
  • Anna Brown – Consultant – CSC
  • Matt Peters – Director of Research – CAI
  • Scott Bittler – Research VP – Gartner


Source video:


Technorati Tags:

Enterprise Architecture Goes To College, EA Becoming Academically Recognized and Offered [Updated]

Mike Walker's Blog:

Here recently there has been a fair amount of activity happing in academic community around enterprise architecture. Most notably Penn State University and Kent State University. Both focus on Enterprise Architecture but have differing approaches.

This is clear of recognition of the profession of Enterprise Architecture. While in the past you needed to learn EA on your own or portions of it through a framework. Not we are seeing it in colleges. I hope to see this trend continue.

Ideally, I would like to see EA programs at universities evolved to the next stage in the next few years. The next stage is to take EA out of the MIS area and move to a MBA like program. But this stage is a necessary first step in our overall EA maturity. So I can’t knock it. Like all things there is always room for improvement at the right time..

Below are the programs offered by Kent State and Penn State. I also added some of my thoughts on this as well.


Kent State


Kent State Overview

Thanks to a recent gift from the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE), a unique feature of Kent State University’s new School of Digital Sciences is its offering of courses and degree concentrations in the field of enterprise architecture.  Both the School’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Sciences and Master of Digital Sciences degree offer a concentration in Enterprise Architecture.


The following course will be offered in the Fall 2011 semester.  The course syllabus and plans are currently being finalized, but the School plans are to offer this course simultaneously both in-person and synchronously via distance learning (i.e., students will can view the lectures remotely in real time).

DSCI 61010 Enterprise Architecture (3)
Facilitates the alignment of IT and IS investment decisions with business goals. Enterprise architecture is increasingly used in industry as a result of the continued emergence of new technologies and ongoing pressures to re-engineer business processes to achieve improved efficiency and greater customer focus. Enterprise architecture identifies the main components of an organization and the ways in which these components work together. The components include performance and strategy, people, business capabilities, applications, technology, knowledge and information, as well as financial and other resources. Prerequisite: graduate standing.


Kent State university uses the EACOE and Zachman framework exclusively. I suspect that it is highly likely that there is a direct correlation of this generous financial gift of 3.2 million dollars to the fact that Kent State is using the EACOE methods exclusively. I don’t actually think this is a good thing. After going through the methods of EACOE it is very limiting based on what you find in the Open Group.


Penn State


Mission Statement

The purpose of the Center for Enterprise Architecture (EA) is to gather intellectual resources across Penn State to address open and important research concerns and questions that span the design, functioning, and governance of contemporary, information-driven enterprises. Research includes the underlying information technology architectures, data and application architecture and the complex, enterprise-level systems of systems that make use of these underlying architectures in a legislative and institutional marketplace. The Center applies multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research methods to address large-scale application domains such as healthcare informatics, large service-based and manufacturing firms, non-profit initiatives, federal and state government transformation, and the design of homeland security agencies. The architecture and systems of systems perspective allows for addressing concerns focused on the design and effective functioning of organizations and networks of organizations with results such as enterprise transformation, enterprise and network design, global information infrastructure design and management, and global enterprise presence and competitiveness.

The Center for Enterprise Architecture strives to design, extend, and invent practices, tools, and theories, in partnership with industry, to produce effective outcomes at the intersection of theory and organizational practice. We help organizations understand, utilize, and extend enterprise architecture as a strategic resource. Our goals include:

  • Achieving efficiencies in operations across company and network activities
  • Leveraging aligned enterprise technology to drive innovations in products, services and business models
  • Competing in a networked, global world
  • Providing advice and support in undergraduate education, graduate education, professional continuing education, and research.

In contrast to Kent State, Penn State University is a completely different animal. With Penn State there is a rich ecosystem of partners that is involved in the program. The Penn State Center for Enterprise Architecture provides a focused hub of expertise and resources to serve their client organizations. They are creating new knowledge, applied research outcomes and new theoretical perspectives, as well as applying established theories in collaboration with industry partners through five key ways:

  • Conducting projects with industry collaborators, government sponsors and others to confront demanding problems and provide thought leadership around EA-related issues
  • Developing cross-organizational and cross-industry models to create benchmarks and scorecards that client companies c
    an use for self-assessment
  • Creating a group of new enterprise architecture professionals who are trained and experienced with the demands of this evolving profession
  • Providing a neutral meeting place where client organizations can interact with faculty and other advisory group members and to explore possible solutions to common problems
  • Publish leading-edge collaborative research in a variety of EA-related areas


Penn State’s partners include:


What is really strange about this list is that IASA is missing from it. The primary purpose of IASA is to create a profession around EA. It seems counter intuitive not to participate. On the flip side, The Open Group has a strong partnership with Penn State and is providing a great deal of leadership.


[UPDATE – Additional University]


Thank you to Michael Lambrellis for pointing this one out.


RMIT is another university that has a specialized program for Enterprise Architecture. Based out of Australia, the state that it is the Master of Technology (Enterprise Architecture) and is accredited at the professional level by the Australian Computer Society.

Below is their program description:

The Master of Technology (Enterprise Architecture) is a high-level IT postgraduate coursework program, specifically designed for ICT professionals who wish to advance their career to the role of Enterprise Architect within an organisation. Building on an existing understanding of the design and development processes for business software systems, the program is intended to provide students with:

  • An understanding of business strategy and of how to architect cost-effective enterprise IT architectures and systems to help achieve the business goals of the enterprise;
  • The ability to communicate how an enterprise architecture supports the organisation’s strategic IT objectives and plans;
  • The ability to communicate and market an enterprise architecture to the organisation and oversee its implementation;
  • The ability to develop and maintain an enterprise architecture for an organisation, taking into account its strategic plan, current IT portfolio, and key business and ICT industry drivers and technologies, including hardware and software standards;
  • An understanding of the required governance for successful enterprise architecture development and adoption within organisations to support business and technology strategy.


As Michael states in the comments below in this post, RMIT takes a similar approach as Penn State University. I agree with this holistic approach. Focusing on one framework is a fallacy in my opinion. I did find it a bit strange that their were programming courses in the EA program. I could possibly see this in a lower level architecture program but not EA. On a positive note, I am really impressed by the inclusion of business courses such as:


Links to RMIT




Technorati Tags: