This chapter provides techniques for evaluating and quantifying an organization's maturity in enterprise architecture.
Organizations that can manage change effectively are generally more successful than those that cannot. Many organizations know that they need to improve their IT-related development processes in order to successfully manage change, but don't know how. Such organizations typically either spend very little on process improvement, because they are unsure how best to proceed; or spend a lot, on a number of parallel and unfocussed efforts, to little or no avail.
Capability Maturity Models (CMMs) address this problem by providing an effective and proven method for an organization to gradually gain control over and improve its IT-related development processes. Such models provide the following benefits:
The various practices are typically organized into five levels, each level representing an increased ability to control and manage the development environment.
An evaluation of the organization's practices against the model - called an assessment - determines the level at which the organization currently stands. It indicates the organization's maturity in the area concerned, and the practices on which the organization needs to focus in order to see the greatest improvement and the highest return on investment.
The benefits of capability maturity models are well documented for software and systems engineering. Their application to enterprise architecture has been a recent development, stimulated by the increasing interest in enterprise architecture in recent years, combined with the lack of maturity in this discipline.
This section introduces into TOGAF the topic of capability maturity models and their associated methods and techniques, as a widely used industry standard that is mature enough to consider for use in relation to enterprise architecture.
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI),1 a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the US Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University, developed the original capability maturity model - SW-CMM, Capability Maturity Model for Software - in the early 1990s, which is still widely used today.
Capability maturity models have gained widescale acceptance over the last decade. These models and their associated methods were originally applied to IT solutions, particularly software solutions, but a number of IT-related disciplines have developed capability maturity models to support process improvement in areas such as:
The models have been adopted by large organizations, including the US Department of Commerce, the US DoD, the UK Government, and a number of large services organizations, to assess competencies.
The increasing interest in applying these techniques to the IT architecture and enterprise architecture fields has resulted in a series of template tools which assess:
The main issues addressed by US and UK Government use of these models include:
They involve use of a multiplicity of models, and focus in particular on measuring business benefits and return on investment.
Another key driver is the increasing use of outsourcing. Recent analyst projections indicate that around 75 percent of IS organizations are refocusing their role on brokering resources and facilitating business-driven demands, rather than on being direct providers of IT services. The capability maturity model is increasingly the standard by which outsourcers are being evaluated.
This section reviews the state of development in such techniques.
A closely related topic is that of the Architecture Skills Framework (see Architecture Skills Framework), which can be used to plan the target skills and capabilities required by an organization to successfully deliver an enterprise architecture, and to determine the training and development needs of individuals.
As an example of the trend towards increased interest in applying capability maturity model techniques to IT architecture, all US federal agencies are now expected to provide maturity models and ratings as part of their IT investment management and audit requirements.
In particular, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) has developed an IT Architecture Capability Maturity Model (ACMM)2 to aid in conducting internal assessments. The ACMM provides a framework that represents the key components of a productive IT architecture process. The goal is to enhance the overall odds for success of IT architecture by identifying weak areas and providing a defined evolutionary path to improving the overall architecture process.
The ACMM comprises three sections:
The first two sections explain the architecture capability maturity levels and the corresponding IT architecture characteristics for each maturity level to be used as measures in the assessment process. The third section is used to derive the architecture capability maturity level that is to be reported to the DoC Chief Information Officer (CIO).
The DoC ACMM consists of six levels and nine architecture characteristics. The six levels are:
The nine IT architecture characteristics are:
Two complementary methods are used in the ACMM to calculate a maturity rating. The first method obtains a weighted mean IT architecture maturity level. The second method shows the percent achieved at each maturity level for the nine architecture characteristics.
The following example shows the detail of the IT architecture maturity levels as applied to the first of the nine characteristics, IT architecture process.
No IT architecture program. No IT architecture to speak of.
Informal IT architecture process underway.
IT architecture process is under development.
Defined IT architecture including detailed written procedures and TRM.
Managed and measured IT architecture process.
Continuous improvement of IT architecture process.
The capability models that the SEI is currently involved in developing, expanding, or maintaining include the following:
As explained in Architecture Maturity Models , in recent years the industry has witnessed significant growth in the area of maturity models. The multiplicity of models available has led to problems of its own, in terms of how to integrate all the different models to produce a meaningful metric for overall process maturity.
In response to this need, the SEI has developed a Framework called Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), to provide a means of managing the complexity.
According to the SEI, the use of the CMMI models improves on the best practices of previous models in many important ways, in particular enabling organizations to:
CMMI is being adopted worldwide.
The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is the appraisal method associated with CMMI. The SCAMPI appraisal method is used to identify strengths, weaknesses, and ratings relative to CMMI reference models. It incorporates best practices found successful in the appraisal community, and is based on the features of several legacy appraisal methods. It is applicable to a wide range of appraisal usage modes, including both internal process improvement and external capability determinations.
The SCAMPI method definition document3 describes the requirements, activities, and practices associated with each of the processes that compose the SCAMPI method.
This section has sought to introduce into TOGAF the topic of capability maturity model-based methods and techniques, as a widely used industry standard that is mature enough to consider for use in relation to enterprise architecture.
The benefits of capability maturity models are well documented for software and systems engineering. Their application to enterprise architecture has been a more recent development, stimulated by the increasing interest in enterprise architecture, combined with the lack of maturity in the discipline of enterprise architecture.
Future versions of TOGAF will seek to build on this base, as more experience is gained on the use of these methods and techniques specifically relating to enterprise architecture.
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