Enterprise Architecture Methodologies – Federal Enterprise Architecture

The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) is an enterprise architecture developed for the United States government. It provides a common approach for the integration of strategic, business, and technology management as part of organization design and performance improvement.

FEA can be viewed as either a methodology for creating an enterprise architecture or the result of applying that process to a particular enterprise. It can be applied private enterprises.

A full description of FEA includes the following:

  • A perspective on how enterprise architectures should be viewed
  • A set of reference models for describing different perspectives of the enterprise architecture
  • A process for creating an enterprise architecture
  • A transitional process for migrating from a pre-EA to a post-EA paradigm
  • A taxonomy for cataloging assets that fall within the purview of the enterprise architecture
  • An approach to measuring the success of using the enterprise architecture to drive business value

It includes everything necessary to build an enterprise architecture for the most complex organizations.

FEA Process

The FEA Process is primarily focused on creating a segment architecture for a subset of the overall enterprise (in FEA’s case, the enterprise is the federal government and the subset is a governmental agency) and is described in the FEA Practice Guidance. The overall high-level segment-architecture development process follows:

  • Step 1: Architectural Analysis—Define a simple and concise vision for the segment, and relate it back to the organizational plan.
  • Step 2: Architectural Definition—Define the desired architectural state of the segment, document the performance goals, consider design alternatives, and develop an enterprise architecture for the segment, including business, data, services, and technology architectures.
  • Step 3: Investment and Funding Strategy—Consider how the project will be funded.
  • Step 4: Program-Management Plan and Execute Projects—Create a plan for managing and executing the project, including milestones and performance measures that will assess project success.

FEA Success Measurement

The FEA framework for measuring organizational success in using enterprise architecture is defined in the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program EA Assessment Framework 2.1. Federal agencies are rated on their overall maturity levels in three main categories:

  1. Architectural completion—Maturity level of the architecture itself
  2. Architectural use—How effectively the agency uses its architecture to drive decision-making
  3. Architectural results—The benefits being realized by the use of the architecture

The five reference models in version 1 have been regrouped and expanded into six in the FEAF-II.

  • Performance Reference Model (PRM)
  • Business Reference Model (BRM)
  • Data Reference Model (DRM)
  • Application Reference Model (ARM)
  • Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)
  • Security Reference Model (SRM)

Version 1

If you are interested in learning more about this framework, you can get the details here.

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