How do we know how well we are doing in our EA work? One solution is to use maturity models. There are a number of these out there:
- The US FEAPMO recently launched the OMB Enterprise Architecture Assessment v1.0. Also available:Excel Format v1.0 and FAQs.
- GAO (US General Accounting Office) has developed A Framework for Assessing and Improving Enterprise Architecture Management (Version 1.1) and reviewed the US federal government in the report named Leadership Remains Key to Agencies Making Progress on Enterprise Architecture Efforts. I’ve found two presentations of the maturity model (see also this GAO presentation about IT investments).
- NASCIO (National Association of State Chief Information Officers) has developed the Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model (Version 1.3), which is popular with state CIO’s. NASCIO has also made a validation model, which is used for self-assessments (more) in the states.
- The Extended Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model from IFEAD is describing the different levels of maturity of an Enterprise Organisation. Different viewpoints are used to describe the E2A maturity, for example: Business Technology Strategy Linkage; Extended Enterprise Involvement; Top-Management Involvement; Operating Units Participation; Enterprise Architecture Program Definition; Enterprise Architecture Development; Enterprise Architecture Communication; Strategic Governance; Enterprise Program Management; Holistic Enterprise Architecture and Business & IT investments and Procurement strategy.
- The COSM (Component Oriented Software Manufacturing) Maturity Model,
an ‘architecture-centric comprehensive maturity model’ from Herzum Software.
- IAC (US Industry Advisory Council) Enterprise Architecture SIG has written up some useful guidelines for Advancing Enterprise Architecture Maturity. IAC also offers a number of other good whitepapers.
- Maturity assessment services can be bought from META Group or Gartner. Both companies have established proprietary models.
The field of maturity models has long been dominated by Carnegie Mellon University’s SEI and their capability maturity models CMM and CMMI. CMMI’s focus is on four areas: systems engineering, software engineering, Integrated Product and Process Development, and supplier sourcing. CMMI is based on some sound principles, but the “waterfall-ish” CMM heritage scares me a bit.
In comparison to other IT frameworks, such as ITIL (the IT Infrastructure Library from the UK Office of Government Commerce, OGC) and their self-assessment tool, and CobiT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology), CMMI is in many ways closer to EA than the more strictly IT-related ITIL and CobiT, but is still clearly something for the IT organisation. I suppose all these models might be embraced in an EA maturity framework. Heck, even stuff like Six Sigma could be considered, although other alternatives might be more effective, such as agile methods. Lee Copeland’s sarcastically suggests using a Maturity Maturity Model (M3).