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Bob Weisman

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Partner and Executive Consultant, CGI, Ottawa

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The latest Open Group member spotlight focuses on Robert (Bob) Weisman, Partner and Executive Consultant, and Enterprise Architecture Practice Leader, at CGI, Ottawa,Canada, who has been involved with The Open Group since 2004.

Q: How many years have you personally been actively involved with The Open Group?

A: Formally with the Open Group since 2004; since 1994/95 if involvement in the application of the Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM) is included.

Q: Why did your organization become a Member of The Open Group?

A: CGI is a global consultancy with 25,000 people working in all industry verticals in all aspects of Information Management and Technology (IM/IT). CGI wanted to ensure that the architecture lessons learned from the host of engagements are shared throughout the world amongst the thousands of CGI architects and clients. CGI also desired a flexible, generic and open architecture methodology that would serve as the foundation for specialized (e.g. SOA) and industry specific architectures. Openness would facilitate collaboration with clients and other consultancies through the use of standard processes and architecture artefacts. The Open Group, its vision of Boundaryless Information Flow and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) addressed many of these issues.

Q: What key forums/initiatives are you personally involved with at The Open Group?

A: My main involvement is with the Architecture Forum specifically the rewriting and enhancement of TOGAF (v9). On the periphery, I have been involved in the Semantic Interoperability, Localization, Service-Oriented Architecture, Academia and ITAC Working Groups.

Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited your organization and the industry at large?

A: The Open Group has enabled CGI to contribute to the advancement of the IM/IT Architecture profession, allowing the company to bring to bear its diverse international experience for the benefit of all. The use of TOGAF in whole or in part with clients has enabled them to benefit from an international body of expertise and saved them significant time in developing and then implementing their enterprise architectures. Standardizing the architecture related processes and deliverables has facilitated the education of IM/IT professionals both internally and externally to facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer while completing engagements.

Q: What key contributions have you and/or your organization made to The Open Group?

A: CGI has been involved in the Architecture Forum specifically the TOGAF (V9) rewrite and the SOA Working Group. Personally I have been heavily involved in the TOGAF rewrite and enhancement, specifically leading the revision of the Architecture Transformation (Phases E & F) part of the ADM. Concurrently I am working on the enhancement of the Data/Information Architecture Phase in conjunction with the Semantic Interoperability efforts. As a regular speaker at the Architecture Practitioners Forums I share with the IM/IT community TOGAF implementation experiences as well as discussing the EA linkages with Business Transformation, Governance/Stewardship, and Information Management. As a CGI EA Practice Leader I have also been training and certifying CGI and client enterprise architects on TOGAF and their specialized architecture frameworks.

Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?

A: IM/IT is pervasive but the IM/IT profession is embryonic with little in the way of standards for architecture. This is increasingly problematic in a period of globalization where information is being recognized as a corporate / national asset that has to be universally understood, securely shared and carefully managed. The Open Group is a consortium of clients, IM/IT service providers and product vendors dedicated to creating the requisite Enterprise Architecture processes and standards that will enable "Boundaryless Information Flow" internally and externally in extended enterprises. In addition to the standardized architecture processes and best practices the Open Group is also addressing the fundamental skills required of an IT Architect that will provide a common global baseline. Participation from organizations will allow members to contribute to the formulation of these processes, skills, and best practices as well as have the licence to use the key Open Group resources in their daily endeavours.

About Bob Weisman

Robert Weisman BEng, MSc PMP, CD is a professional engineer and graduate of the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada and Laval University where he studied engineering and computer science, specializing in knowledge-based systems for crisis response.

In a diverse 28 year military career he gained expertise in leadership, Plans and Operations, national and international Command and Control, and IM/IT Strategic Direction working in all levels of headquarters as well in the R&D establishments and as faculty in the RMC.

Bob joined CGI in 1998 as a Management Consultant and started the Enterprise Architecture Practice in 1999 in Ottawa with a focus on coping with the Business Transformation aspects of EA and IM/IT in general.

Bob speaks several languages, continues to work globally and joined the Open Group Architecture Forum in 2004 as an active member and major contributor to the new TOGAF V9.

Bob is the happy husband of a fellow free spirit and traveller who put up with innumerable lengthy absences. Both are the proud parents of a graphic artist and two engineers, all of whom are active hockey, killer frisbee and soccer players.