The ADM is an iterative cycle that technically begins with Phase A, Architecture Vision. However there is the ‘Preliminary Phase’ that contains required information for any cycle to complete.
The Preliminary phase is typically done in earnest once, but is subject to ongoing review in order to keep the contents up to date and relevant. It primarily deals with defining a high level organisation context, understanding both the current and desired architectural capability and the architectural principles your organisation works towards.
So first off, what do we mean by organisational context? In short, how does your organisation currently deal with its architecture? You may need to define or review any change management processes, project management models, current portfolios across the 4 ADM domains and putting everything together into a visual representation of the architecture landscape.
When we talk about architectural principles, they are a set of principles that are usually derived from business principles that shape how architecture projects are completed.
Ultimately, TOGAF is a framework focused on managing existing architectures and efficiently adding new ones in line with business objectives. In order to achieve this, TOGAF complements other frameworks used in the business by sitting at the heart of the architecture process. The Open Groups diagram on this (below) is great and sums up perfectly how the ADM is a part of a bigger process but is ultimately at the heart of business change.
What does this look like in the real world though? Think about your standard IT department. You have you operations which in this case is your support desk. They are likely to be using ITIL for their service standards. The Project Managers working with IT to deliver a new bespoke system are probably using Prince 2 or another framework to keep order. The Development teams are likely using an Agile framework for delivery like SCRUM. TOGAF sits independent to all of these and is responsible for ensuring consistent architecture is created throughout the department / organisation.
A. Architecture Vision
All good things start with a vision. Where do you want the business to be? Once you know where you want to go, you can start planning for how to get there.
First, understand how big a piece of work it is. Can it be delivered stand alone or does it need a subset of architectural deliverable? It’s important to define the scope of the vision as early as possible. How deep does this rabbit hole go?
- Capture in the Architecture Vision, the concerns and viewpoints that are relevant to the project
- Create a communications plan for the stakeholders that are involved with the project
- Establish a Statement of Architecture Work with the key roles and responsibilities for the project
Key deliverable in this phase though, focus on defining and then visually representing the ‘vision’ for consumption at the board level, whilst providing the foundation for subsequent ADM phases. For me, this is often the ‘value streams’. Value streams allow the business to drill down on the anticipated value an architectural project could bring to the organisation either by adding new capabilities or extending existing ones. Finally, present the interactions within the organisation using organisation mappings. These three allow the board to visually understand the intention and allow them to both prioritise and assign budget and resource for delivery.