Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: Lifecycles and Heatmaps

In the last blog post, Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: Work Packages and Timelines, we discussed producing work packages that represent pieces of work and how these tie to roadmaps to drive change. Our approach is linked to EA tooling so that you can see real-world examples of Roadmapping in an Enterprise Architecture tool. In this final blog of the Roadmaps in EA series, we look at different lifecycles that components of our business and IT landscape move through and how we can ask analytical questions that help us make better business decisions.

In order to fully support the ability to heatmap and produce lifecycle states for architecture artefacts over time, we have added the capabilities of lifecycle states to concepts in ArchiMate®.

Although we have included lifecycle states for several concepts, you can use nearly every concept in ArchiMate® with a set of lifecycles.

Adding lifecycle states to concepts

Figure 1. Adding lifecycle states to concepts

As you can see in Figure 1, we have added two lifecycle state properties to the ArchiMate® Application Component concept. The lifecycles on the left correspond to deployment lifecycles and those on the right to ‘usage lifecycles’.

In our implementation, deployment lifecycles map to the ITIL deployment lifecycle states, although in most organizations, we find that the names of these vary and therefore can be modified to suit.

As users interact with a product or service, they proceed through a series of steps called the usage lifecycle. The usage lifecycle is a mapping of the user’s actual usage as opposed to the IT deployment view of the world.

The name of the lifecycle can be different to the lifecycle state. This allows you to control variances (synonyms and homonyms) that people may use to describe the core lifecycle state.

We have included a set of heatmap reports that will change either the pen style or colour of the concepts in ArchiMate® that have lifecycle properties. In the example below, you can see that Deployed Retired is setting the Application Components that have a deployment lifecycle state set to Retired for 2013.

Heatmap reporting

Figure 2. Heatmap reporting

We can also show examples of the heatmap with other concepts such as an ArchiMate® Node (device).

Heatmap reporting on archimate nodes

Figure 3. Heatmap reporting on ArchiMate® nodes

Explorer Diagrams

We can see from the metamodel below that the definitions are connected. This means that we can use the explorer diagram to get a view across the metamodel of the instances (definitions) and how they are connected for a particular scenario.


Figure 4. Metamodel

In the explorer diagram example below, we can see that we have started off with our Registry_Plan_Phase Milestone and can expand out to show other concepts that are connected to it.

Explorer diagram showing connected concepts

Figure 5. Explorer diagram showing connected concepts

This diagram is used to display impact of change. In other words; how things are affected by the actions you are taking.


So, what have we learned? In the first part we learned about the basics and concept of Roadmapping. In the second part; we learned that ArchiMate® provides an implementation and migration view that allows us to model current and future state architectures. In our third instalment we learned that the combination of Work Packages, Milestones and timelines combine to provide an important set of visualizations and potential Return on Investment scenarios that every architect should be interested in. In our final section we have learned that Lifecycles and Heatmaps provide an important set of capabilities that can potentially benefit any enterprise architect. They are a useful tool in visualizing and communicating enterprise architecture with stakeholders.

ArchiMate® has provided the core building blocks for roadmapping. It allows enterprise architects to model transition plans, work packages and time in a coherent manner. We extend the ArchiMate notation in providing you with a complete solution for Roadmapping.

Enterprise Architects must be able to create accurate blueprints of the organization today, communicate how its architecture will change over time to meet the business strategy, and visualize what actions are necessary to achieve it. It is Roadmapping that enables you to do this.

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