International Standards, Reference Models and Publications Quick Guide

Mike the Architect  Standards Header

Van Haren Publishing recently published their 2012 – 2013 Global Standards and Publications book free online for all to use. 

I look at this book as a quick guide or a primer to the landscape of standards globally. The purpose isn’t to give you deep knowledge into each one of these but rather give the overall landscape of standards that you can leverage in your day to day architecture efforts. As you seen in frameworks like TOGAF where the first step in is to “Select Reference Models”, this is a one list you can pull from to see if there is any reuse out there so you don’t have to go into the “think tank” and reinvent a practice, standard or tool that is already been vetted in the community. 

This book does a great job pulling in emerging standards and even some of the lesser known ones as well from around the globe. Below is a list of the standards covered in the book:

  • Agile
  • Amsterdam Information Management Model (AIM)
  • ArchiMate®
  • ASL®
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • BiSL®
  • CATS CM®
  • CMMI®
  • COBIT®
  • EFQM
  • eSCM-CL
  • eSCM-SP
  • Frameworx
  • ICB®
  • ISO 9001
  • ISO 14000
  • ISO/IEC 15504
  • ISO/IEC 27000 series
  • ISO 31000
  • ISO 38500
  • ISO/IEC 20000
  • ITIL®
  • Lean management
  • M_o_R®
  • MoP™
  • MSP®
  • P3O®
  • PMBOK® Guide
  • PRINCE2®
  • SABSA®
  • Scrum
  • Six Sigma
  • SqEME®
  • TMap® NEXT
  • TOGAF®


Download the publication here:




TOGAF Templates

Possibly one of the most common questions I get with regards to TOGAF is finding a good sample set of templates. Luckily the Open Group has a set that you can download that is quite extensive. Personally they aren’t the prettiest to look at but it will most certainly be an accelerant to leveraging TOGAF.

See below for the links:

Below you will find a listing of some of the templates included.


  • Application Architecture: Applications Portfolio Catalog, Interface Catalog
  • Business Architecture: Contract-Measure Catalog, Driver-Goal-Objective Catalog, Location Catalog, Organization-Actor Catalog, Process-Event-Control-Product Catalog, Role Catalog, Service-Function Catalog
  • Data Architecture: Data Entity-Data Component Catalog
  • Preliminary: Principles Catalog
  • Requirements: Requirements Catalog
  • Technology Architecture: Technology Portfolio Catalog, Technology Standards Catalog

Core Diagrams

  • Application Architecture: Application & User Location Diagram, Application Communication Diagram, System Use-Case Diagram
  • Architecture Vision: Solution Concept Diagram, Value Chain Diagram
  • Business Architecture: Business Footprint Diagram, Business Services and Information Diagram, Functional Decomposition Diagram, Product Lifecycle Diagram
  • Data Architecture: Class Diagram, Data Dissemination Diagram
  • Opportunities and Solutions: Benefits Diagram, Project Context Diagram
  • Technology Architecture: Environments & Location Diagram, Platform Decomposition Diagram

Extension Diagrams

  • Technology Architecture: Network Computing-Hardware Diagram, Processing Diagram


  • Application Architecture: Application Interaction Matrix, Role-System Matrix, System-Function Matrix, System-Organization Matrix
  • Architecture Vision: Stakeholder Map Matrix
  • Business Architecture: Actor Role Matrix, Business Interaction Matrix
  • Data Architecture: Data Entity-Business Function Matrix, System-Data Matrix
  • Technology Architecture: System-Technology Matrix

Example deliverables are as follows

  • Preliminary Phase: Architecture Principles, Architecture Repository, Business Principles-Goals-Drivers, Organizational Model for Enterprise Architecture, Request for Architecture Work, Tailored Architecture Framework
  • Phase A: Architecture Vision, Capability Assessment, Communications Plan, Statement of Architecture Work
  • Phase B, C, D: Architecture Definition Document, Architecture Requirements Specification, Architecture Roadmap
  • Phase E: Implementation and Migration Plan, Transition Architecture
  • Phase F: Architecture Building Blocks, Architecture Contract with Business Users, Architecture Contract with Development Partners, Implementation Governance Model


The Open Group SOA Governance Framework Becomes an International Standard

The Open Group has moved the technology industry forward yet again with its second international standard on SOA.The Open Group SOA Governance Framework is now an International Standard, having passed its six month ratification vote in ISO and IEC.

This will be the second since January 2012 when the Open Services Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM). The Open Group has certainly have been getting a great deal of momentum on it's SOA OSIMM as it is being considered for adoption as a national standard in countries such as China and Korea. While this framework has been around for awhile it is great to see the broad acceptance internationally.

SOA governance is critical to all SOA implementations. Just like with building a road, laying the asphalt is just the beginning. That road will need  governing aspects such as the law and maintenance plans. The same with SOA implementations, deploying an ESB with some web services is relatively easy but making sure that those services are adopted and sustainable, that is tricky.  Having a standard way of addressing SOA governance is not only an accelerant to companies but also allows them to:

  • Leverage a universally accepted and trusted framework
  • Exposure to an evolving framework that is leveraged by many companies that contribute to the Open Group with best practices,  guidance and standards
  • Eventually tap into a network of SOA practitioners that understand the standard without training
  • Potential for certifications to validate competencies and skills

The Open Group SOA Governance Framework includes a standard governance reference model and a mechanism for enterprises to customize and implement the compliance, dispensation and communication processes that are appropriate for them. Long term vitality is an essential part of the framework, and it gives guidance on evolving these processes over time in the light of changing business and technical circumstances, ensuring the on-going alignment of business and IT.

Mike The Architect: Open Group SOA Governance Model

What I really like about this model is that SOA Governance is viewed as the application of Corporate Governance, IT Governance and EA Governance to Service Oriented Architecture. This shows that SOA Governance extends IT and EA Governance ensuring that the benefits that SOA extols are met. This requires governing not only the execution aspects of SOA but also the strategic planning activities.

Take a look at the new standard, it is certainly worth the read!


Enterprise Architecture Certifications Distilled

Year after year I am finding that Enterprise Architecture certifications are becoming more important to architects. Back in 2007, I remember reading an article from Gene Leganza called, “Is EA Certification Important?”. In that article he stated that 65% of the people he had surveyed stated that EA certification is not important but he also noted that a significant minority stated they were including EA certification criteria in their hiring processes. 

Mike Walker's Blog: Enterprise Architecture Framework AdoptionOver the years, I have seen that minority rise significantly. First it started with software vendors and consultancies that required certifications for EA’s. Now we see certification requirements in job descriptions and RFP’s for vendors. The reason for this is very simple, trust. Companies want to make sure that architects have been validated by an independent body so they don’t have to go through that same rigorous process and focus on their business challenges.

The next year I found evidence that there was a shift as well. In a post, “Enterprises are Embracing Architecture Certifications” I discovered an article from IT Job Watch that stated that salaries went up by 21 percent with certifications. Surprisingly in the UK geography 80% companies require TOGAF certification.

While this is just one data point, you also see this on job descriptions on popular job boards.

However, when you look at the landscape of certifications it can be very confusing and even daunting to try to figure out which ones to take. Certifications take a substantial amount of time to study for, prepare and to actually take. This coupled with the impacts of todays economic climate of reduced IT budgets and education it so much more important to pick the right certifications.

To help reduce this confusion, I created the Enterprise Architecture Certification Reference Guide. Within it, I distill the EA certification domain within a framework that splits each certification into a logical areas.


Enterprise Architecture Certification Reference Guide

The Enterprise Architect Certification Reference Guide serves as an atlas to navigate the specific certifications for a Enterprise Architecture (EA). Other areas of architecture such as domain or solution architecture are within the corresponding Certification Reference Guides. The reference guide decomposes certifications into a framework that allows the EA to identify the certifications that are right for them. Starting with certifications that validate an EA’s competencies (experience and skills), then to certifications that derive from a specific business or industry set of concerns to the foundational certifications that enhance the skills of EA’s and will aid in the acquisition of competencies.

Mike Walker's Blog: Enterprise Architecture Certification Reference Guide

As shown above, the Enterprise Architect Certification Guide provides a framework to how to think about EA certifications.

Below is a description of each aspect:

  • Competency Based Certifications – These certifications are focused at evaluating your experience to validate that you are indeed an architect. Much like many other certifications in the industry (e.g., PMP). These are much different to others that determine what you know instead of how you applied the knowledge.
  • Industry / Specialized Certifications – Driven from a predetermined set of concerns such as the federal government or a specific industry is where these derive from. While these certifications are critical in that vertical, often times they do not transfer well across verticals given the difference in drivers and motivations of these very specific bodies of knowledge.
  • Foundational Certifications – Provides the essential skills for EA’s. These certifications are different from the other two in the respect that they validate that you’re an architect while foundational certifications validate that you know a specific methods, models and/or tools. These certifications are essential to EA’s as they populate the EA’s toolbox. For example, without an overall enterprise architecture framework how would we be truly effective as EA’s?
  • Applied – Divided into two primary areas, Academic and Vendor Tailored they either support a certification or provide a certification highly tailored. These are in a supporting function to Competency Based Certifications.
  • Supporting Certifications and Learning's – These certifications make a well rounded enterprise architect. These are often referred to or leveraged in the day in the life of an EA.




Competency Based Certifications


Industry / Specialized Certifications


Foundational Certifications


Supporting – Academic

Supporting – Applied and Tailored



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:


Open Group Rebrands Certification Programs


This week The Open Group IT Architect Certification (ITAC) program has now become The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) program. The IT Specialist Certification (ITSC) program has now become The Open Group Certified IT Specialist (Open CITS) program.

With the name change, there hasn’t been many changes made to the way in which either program operates. For example, the Open CA program still requires candidates to submit a comprehensive certification package detailing their skills and experience gained on working on architecture-related projects, followed by a rigorous peer review process.

The Open CA program still currently focuses on IT-related work. However, the architecture profession is constantly evolving and to reflect this, The Open Group will incorporate dedicated Business Architecture and Enterprise Architecture streams into the Open CA program at some point in the near future. Our members are working on defining the core skills that an architect needs to have and the specific competencies one needs for each of these three specialist areas. Therefore, going forward, applicants will be able to become an Open CA in:

  • IT Architecture
  • Business Architecture
  • Enterprise Architecture

There are approximately 3,200 individuals who are certified in our Open CA program, and by broadening the scope of the program we hope to certify many more architects. There are more than 2,300 certified IT Specialists in the Open CITS program, and many organizations around the world have identified this type of skills- and experienced-based program as a necessary part of the process to develop their own internal IT profession frameworks.

Open CA and Open CITs can be used in the recruitment process and help to guarantee a consistent and quality assured service on project proposals, procurements and on service level agreements. They can also help in the assessment of individuals in specific IT domains and provide a roadmap for their future career development.  You can find out more about our programs by visiting the professional certification area of our website.

Clarifying Alignment of Frameworks for Business Benefit

Most organizations employ multiple frameworks and standards for implementing and controlling technology. Here are some publications that map COBIT to other sources of guidance. While this is slightly out of date in terms of TOGAF it is still an interesting read to see how these frameworks relate.

COBIT Mapping Overview of International IT Guidance 2nd Edition

This document can be used to align guidance supporting IT governance, especially regarding IT control and IT security guidance in relationship to COBIT. It lists over a dozen international standards/guidance, and for each one provides a classification, a short overview of the contents and the business driver for implementing the guidance, and the risks of noncompliance. Included are:

  • COSO
  • ITIL
  • ISO/IEC 17799:2005
  • FIPS Pub 200
  • ISO/IEC TR13335
  • ISO/IEC 15408 2005/Common Criteria/ITSEC
  • TickIT
  • CMMI
  • TOGAF 8.1
  • IT Baseline Protection Manual
  • NIST 800-14.

Aligning COBIT 4.1, ITIL V3 and ISO/IEC 27002 for Business Benefit

IT best practices should be aligned to business requirements and processes. Organizations often use multiple frameworks to inform how to achieve this. This management briefing is the result of a joint study initiated by the UK’s Office of Government Commerce and the IT Governance Institute. It was first published in November 2005, and was updated in August 2008 to reflect the latest versions of three sets of guidance:

  • ITIL V3-Published by the UK government to provide a best practice framework for IT service management
  • COBIT 4.1-Published by ITGI and positioned as a high-level governance and control framework over IT processes
  • ISO/IEC 27002:2005-Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electro technical Commission (IEC) a to provide a framework of a standard for information security management

The appendices provide mappings:

  • COBIT to sections of ITIL and ISO/IEC 27002
  • ITIL key topics to COBIT
  • ISO/IEC 27002 classifications to COBIT