Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: Current vs Future State Architectures

Roadmaps are a fundamental part of strategic planning and enterprise architecture. It allows businesses to map out a set of actions that are required to move from where it is today, to where it wants to go; those actions turn into plans. Roadmapping enables organizations to tie strategy to deliverables using enterprise architecture, crucial for delivering on initiatives that have been prioritized.

In Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: An Introduction, we explained the importance of Roadmaps in EA, and now this second part looks into Current v Future State Architectures and how they are related using ArchiMate®. We also link our approach to real-world implementation of roadmapping in an Enterprise Architecture tool.

Extending ArchiMate® 2.1

In its native form, ArchiMate 2.1 provides support for defining Plateau, Deliverable, Work Package and Gap concepts:

  • Plateau – A relatively stable state of the Architecture that exists during a limited time period.
  • Deliverable – A precisely-defined outcome of a work package.
  • Work package – A series of actions designed to accomplish a unique goal within a specified time.
  • Gap – An outcome of a gap analysis between two plateaus.
    (The Open Group’s ArchiMate® 2.1 – A Pocket Guide, 2013)

In order to make ArchiMate® 2.1 pragmatic for roadmapping, we have extended the core ArchiMate metamodel to include both Workspaces and Work Package Milestones (Milestones will be covered in part 3 of our 4 part blog series).

Using workspaces you can create distinct temporal architecture work areas for different reasons, such as Current, interim and Future Business and IT architectures.

Current vs. Future State Architectures

By introducing the new Workspace and Work Package Milestone concepts, we can build a view of our architecture using Plateaus and Gaps. We use an ArchiMate® Implementation & Migration diagram to represent this view.

We can map a Workspace definition to the Plateau. As each Plateau is represented by a Workspace, we can show differences between the Workspaces and store these against the Gap (a standard ArchiMate® concept).

We can now extend the view further to include other model elements that help describe the transition plan.

In summary, ArchiMate® provides an implementation and migration view that allows us to model current and future state architectures. You can define plateaus, workspaces, gaps and work packages. You can now use ArchiMate to really define your current and future state architectures.

Quick Tip: Use an ArchiMate® implementation and migration view to manage your repository workspace strategy and how you expect to divide up work packages and transitions.

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