In-Depth

GAO Updates Framework To Reflect Enterprise Architectures Evolution

The Government Accountability Office has released a major update of a management maturity framework that provides a flexible benchmark against which federal agencies can plan for and measure enterprise architecture program maturity.

The Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework version 2.0 builds on previous versions by introducing more scope and content "to accommodate the evolving and complex nature of EA as one of many enterprise management disciplines," wrote Randolph Hite, director of information technology and systems issues with GAO, in the preface to the report on the framework. GAO solicited comments from 27 federal departments and agencies, as well as representatives from the private sector, state governments and academia.

To aid federal departments and agencies in their efforts to develop, maintain and use an EA, GAO issued the first version of this framework in 2002, followed by a minor update (version 1.1) in 2003.

The new EA maturity model has a number of distinctive capabilities, such as a stronger alignment with existing frameworks like the Office of Management and Budget's EA Assessment Framework and GAO's Information Technology Investment Framework as well as other federal EA guidance, said Melvin Greer, senior research engineer of service-oriented architecture and cloud computing chief architect at Lockheed Martin.

This is important because these other frameworks incorporated in their earlier stages the concepts of federation, segment architectures and service-oriented architectures, Greer said. "These are key elements to the adoption of enterprise architecture because enterprise architects are finding that no one type of EA covers all of government," he said.

"We are finding that [EA] is being developed in a federated, service-oriented, segmented way," Greer said.

In addition to being consistent with key federal EA guidance, version 2.0 of the EA Management Maturity Framework is consistent with other GAO and federal guidance associated with other key management activities, such as strategic planning, human capital management, IT investment management, and information security management, the report states.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is the senior technology editor of Government Computer News (GCN.com).

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