A New Strategic Direction for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Community - DRAFT
The Federal Enterprise Architecture (EA) community is at a crossroad regarding the way that architects individually and collectively contribute to Administration and Agency initiatives. This summary briefing describes a change in direction for the EA community to include purpose, goals, methods, and actions.
Background: The Federal EA community consists of enterprise architects, domain-specific architects (e.g., business, data, systems, networks, and security), solution architects, and EA program staff in federal agencies. This community has existed since the Clinger Cohen Act of 1996 required agencies to develop and maintain IT architectures and the eGovernment Act of 2002 required OMB to oversee the establishment of enterprise architectures and defined related roles for the Federal CIO Council, which currently sponsors the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC). Other notable events include the release of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework in 1999, publication of the “Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture” in 2001, updates to OMB Circular A-130 on the “Management of Federal IT Resources” in 2001, the 2002-2005 release of the Federal EA Reference Models, the 2007 release of the Consolidated Reference Model, and the 2008 release of the Federal Segment Architecture Methodology. For nearly a decade, EA programs, methods, and architectures have been established, however, in a number of cases current approaches do not deliver sufficient tangible value in improving agency mission performance or in supporting Administration initiatives. Reasons cited include an over-focus on technology, long delivery timeframes, high costs, and a lack of executive buy-in. As a result, while there is still a significant amount of agency-level architecture activity occurring, the resulting work can be either under-utilized or under-valued. Bottom Line - Results: The Federal EA community’s recognition of the need to change and the actions described in this strategic summary will provide for revitalization and the meaningful engagement that is the bottom line desired outcome. The community does provide some value at present, but is not near its potential for helping the federal government to meet its ongoing need for new or better services with limited resources. Helping the Administration and Agencies to solve problems and improve mission performance is well within the capability of the Federal EA community and will continue to be the unifying goal for future activities.
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