TOGAF Architecture Roles and Responsibilities
TOGAF is an architecture framework – The Open Group Architecture Framework. TOGAF provides the methods and tools for assisting in the acceptance, production, use, and maintenance of enterprise architecture. It is based on an iterative process model supported by best practices and a re-usable set of existing architecture assets.
Skills frameworks provide a view of the competency levels required for specific roles. They define:
- The roles within a work area
- The skills required by each role
- The depth of knowledge required to fulfill the role successfully
They are relatively common for defining the skills required for a consultancy and/or project management assignment, to deliver a specific project or work package. They are also widely used by recruitment and search agencies to match candidates and roles.
Their value derives from their ability to provide a means of rapidly identifying skill matches and gaps. Successfully applied, they can ensure that candidates are fit for the jobs assigned to them.
Their value in the context of enterprise architecture arises from the immaturity of the enterprise architecture discipline, and the problems that arise from this.
The TOGAF team skill set will need to include the following main categories of skills:
- Generic Skills: – typically comprising leadership, teamworking, inter-personal skills, etc.
- Business Skills & Methods: – typically comprising business cases, business process, strategic planning, etc.
- Enterprise Architecture Skills: – typically comprising modeling, building block design, applications and role design, systems integration, etc.
- Program or Project Management Skills: – typically comprising managing business change, project management methods and tools, etc.
- IT General Knowledge Skills: – typically comprising brokering applications, asset management, migration planning, SLAs, etc.
- Technical IT Skills: – typically comprising software engineering, security, data interchange, data management, etc.
- Legal Environment: – typically comprising data protection laws, contract law, procurement law, fraud, etc.
** Each of these skills, the roles mentioned above are relevant and the desirable level of proficiency in each skill.
Enterprise architects are visionaries, coaches, team leaders, business-to-technical liaisons, computer scientists, and industry experts. The role of the enterprise architect is more like that of a city planner than that of a building architect, and the product of the enterprise architect is more aptly characterized as a planned community (as opposed to an unconstrained urban sprawl), rather than as a well-designed building or set of buildings.
Thus, the role of the architect can be summarized as to:
- Understand and interpret requirements: probe for information, listen to information, influence people, facilitate consensus building, synthesize and translate ideas into actionable requirements, articulate those ideas to others. Identify use or purpose, constraints, risks, etc. The architect participates in the discovery and documentation of the customer’s business scenarios that are driving the solution. The architect is responsible for requirements understanding and embodies that requirements understanding in the architecture specification.
- Create a useful model: take the requirements and develop well-formulated models of the components of the solution, augmenting the models as necessary to fit all of the circumstances. Show multiple views through models to communicate the ideas effectively. The architect is responsible for the overall architecture integrity and maintaining the vision of the offering from an architectural perspective. The architect also ensures leverage opportunities are identified, using building blocks, and is a liaison between the functional groups (especially development and marketing) to ensure that the leverage opportunities are realized. The architect provides and maintains these models as a framework for understanding the domain(s) of development work, guiding what should be done within the organization, or outside the organization. The architect must represent the organization view of the architecture by understanding all the necessary business components.
- Validate, refine, and expand the model: verify assumptions, bring in subject matter experts, etc. in order to improve the model and to further define it, adding as necessary new ideas to make the result more flexible and more tightly linked to current and expected requirements. The architect additionally should assess the value of solution-enhancing developments emanating from field work and incorporate these into the architecture models as appropriate.
- Manage the architecture: continuously monitor the models and update them as necessary to show changes, additions, and alterations. Represent architecture and issues during development and decision points of the program. The architect is an “agent of change”, representing that need for the implementation of the architecture. Through this development cycle, the architect continuously fosters the sharing of customer, architecture, and technical information between organizations.
The TOGAF Architecture Skills Framework provides an assessment of the skills required to deliver successful enterprise architecture.
It is hoped that the provision of this Architecture Skills Framework will help reduce the time, cost, and risk involved in training, recruiting, and managing IT architecture professionals, and at the same time enable and encourage more organizations to institute an internal IT architecture practice, hopefully based on (or at least leveraging) the role and skill definitions provided.