The following are the key points about the ADM:
- The ADM is iterative, over the whole process, between phases, and within phases. For each iteration of the ADM, a fresh decision must be taken as to:
- The breadth of coverage of the enterprise to be defined
- The level of detail to be defined
- The extent of the time horizon aimed at, including the number and extent of any intermediate time horizons
- The architectural assets to be leveraged in the organization's Enterprise Continuum, including:
- Assets created in previous iterations of the ADM cycle within the enterprise
- Assets available elsewhere in the industry (other frameworks, systems models, vertical industry models, etc.)
- These decisions need to be made on the basis of a practical assessment of resource and competence availability, and the value that can realistically be expected to accrue to the enterprise from the chosen scope of the architecture work.
- As a generic method, the ADM is intended to be used by enterprises in a wide variety of different geographies and applied in different vertical sectors/industry types. As such, it may be, but does not necessarily have to be, tailored to specific needs. For example:
- It may be used in conjunction with the set of deliverables of another framework, where these have been deemed to be more appropriate for a specific organization. (For example, many US federal agencies have developed individual frameworks that define the deliverables specific to their particular departmental needs.)
- It may be used in conjunction with the well-known Zachman Framework, which is an excellent classification scheme, but lacks an openly available, well-defined methodology.
These issues are considered in detail in Adapting the ADM .
In addition to the method itself being iterative, there is also iteration within the ADM cycle, both among the individual phases and among the steps within each phase.
The basic structure of the ADM is shown in Architecture Development Cycle .
Throughout the ADM cycle, there needs to be frequent validation of results against the original expectations, both those for the whole ADM cycle, and those for the particular phase of the process.