The Open Group Conference - San Diego 2011

Reference Architecture - Basics of Effectiveness

David Hornford
Architecture Practice Principal, Integritas Solutions, Canada

This presentation provides EA Professionals a better understanding of how a Reference Architecture is used to structure their architecture efforts to meet three fundamentals of a successful EA practice: meeting the needs of decision makers, the needs of change implementation and sustaining the architecture. The presentation covers three questions about a Reference Architecture 'what', 'how' and 'why'.

The Reference Architecture outlines how the architect will describe the architecture and communicate to meet the divergent needs of decision makers, implementers and architects. With an appropriate Reference Architecture an Architecture team can dramatically increase effectiveness by minimizing unnecessary work and rework, and missed communication.

A good Reference Architecture will identify how an architecture must be described ensuring linkages across elements of the organization can be traced, and the implications of change understood. Consistently describing the architecture meets the basic needs of the architect, knowing the limits of useful description meets the needs of sustainability. Within the set of architect's tools are the set of analysis viewpoints that ensure the target is aligning with strategy.

By itself a good description is useful only to architects and is simply a step on the way to addressing decision makers' and implementers' requirements. The former requires a set of views that describe the target, highlighting change implications and alignment with strategy; the latter a set of view and specifications that highlight how to implement compliant solutions. The last component of the Reference Architecture is the set of communication viewpoints.

Reference Architecture's start industry based, and must be customized for an organization's environment and strategy. The last section of the presentation will explore available tools to create an organizational specific Reference Architecture and how to manage the depth & breadth of the Reference Architecture as an organizations EA maturity increases.

Jane & Dave will bring in-house and external perspectives to the creation and use of a Reference Architecture to the creation and consumption of effective EA.

Dave HornfordDavid Hornford

Dave leads Integritas' Enterprise Architecture Practice and is a senior consultant in the practice. He has extensive experience in aligning IT strategy, architecture & implementations with business goals; and developing methodology and process. Integritas' EA Practice is focused on delivering good architecture and assisting client's improve their architecture capability.

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