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What is the Content of TOGAF?

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TOGAF covers a wide variety of helpful content for enterprise architects. The heart of TOGAF is the Architecture Development Method, which can be used as a project approach for architecture projects and that provides detailed insights on goals, inputs, activities, and outputs of every stage. It is also where TOGAF introduces its architecture layers (business, application, Information Systems, and Technology) that are widely reused by many companies in very different contexts. Further content includes the architecture content framework and metamodel and a framework to structure all kinds of architecture work, called the Enterprise Continuum. Further, TOGAF provides some specific reference models that can be used as rough reference for a company´s own architecture. Finally, TOGAF provides a detailed view on which capabilities an enterprise architecture department should have in a company and also provides a glossary with definitions of the most important terms. Let´s take a deeper look into those areas.


1. Architecture Development Method

If I had to pick one concept to be the most important in TOGAF, it would be the Architecture Development Method (ADM). It is a stepwise approach to assess all landscape layers of an enterprise including their current and their target state, to develop a roadmap towards the goal, to support the transformation, and to guide the governance and future development of it. The steps of the ADM include:

  • Preliminary Phase: Establishing the basics, such as defining who are the architects, defining the broad scope of enterprise architecture
  • A. Architecture Vision: High level view of what the architecture should look like
  • B. Business Architecture: Development of a detailed as-is and to-be view on the business (especially processes) of an organization
  • C. Information Systems Architectures: Development of a detailed as-is and to-be view on the information systems / applications / data of an organization
  • D. Technology Architecture: Development of a detailed as-is and to-be view on the technology architecture / infrastructure of an organization
  • E. Opportunities and Solutions: Development of components that deliver the defined target architectures in a tangible way
  • F. Migration Planning: Development of the corresponding roadmap
  • G. Implementation Governance: Governing the roadmap implementation
  • H. Architecture Change Management: Long-term supervision of the enterprise architecture, such as starting a new development cycle to refine the target states
  • Requirements Management: Central management of demands and requirements during all phases

Each step is described with detailed activities, deliverables, prerequisites, goals etc., where the steps A to D have the same structure, but target different architecture layers. Together, the steps build a detailed foundation for an enterprise architecture development or transformation project. If you are interested in more details on this topic and how TOGAF should improve it


2. Architecture Content Framework and Metamodel

The Architecture Content Metamodel defines which different types of content enterprise architecture can develop as outputs (especially during the different phases of the ADM). The major three output types are the following:

  • A Deliverable: A contractually specified project / work output that is formally reviewed and signed-off
  • An Artifact: An architectural work product that describe a part of an architecture (e.g. a matrix or a diagram)
  • A Building Block: A more general piece of architecture that is potentially re-usable and might be used as a reference within the organization

The Architecture Content Framework provides a structure to consistently relate them to each other. This structure is also aligned to the phases of the ADM. On a high level, the Content Framework looks the following:

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