Presenting A Method for Benchmarking Applicationin the Enterprise Architecture Planning Process Based on Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework Abbas. Akkasi Mir ali. seyyedi Computer Engineering Department Computer Engineering Department Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch Islamic Azad University, Tehran-South Branch Tehran, Iran Tehran, Iran Akkasiab84@yahoo.com firstname.lastname@example.org Fereydon. Shams Computer Engineering Department Shahid Beheshti University Tehran, Iran email@example.comAbstract— One of the main challenges of the enterprisearchitecture planning process is its time consuming and to some I. INTRODUCTIONextend having unrealistic results from this process under heading Currently, enterprise architecture is considered as one oftarget architecture products. Getting best practices in this area the important key in enterprise mission . In order to reducecan be to a large extent effective in speed up and quality costs and various risks, to enhance effectiveness, profitabilityenhanced of the results of enterprise architecture planning. and efficiency, the chief officers are required to document aUtilization of best practices in most methodologies and the comprehensive information technology programs focused onenterprise architecture planning process guidelines namely EAPMethodology presented by Steven Spewak  also BSP enterprise architecture. Currently the majority of enterprisesMethodology produced by IBM , have been recommended. particularly large ones are in difficulty in getting enterpriseHowever there have been no presentation of any process or a architecture process especially enterprise architecture planningspecific method which would lead to benchmarking at enterprise process done. Enterprise architecture planning process is a veryarchitectural planning level. In this paper, a systematic and slow and tedious procedure and hence leads todocumented approach to employ benchmarking in the enterprise misrepresentation of enterprise architecture process and even toarchitecture planning process is being presented which can be its failure . Utilizing benchmarking from the best practice inused to assess the equally successful enterprises as best practices the enterprise architecture planning process can to a largein target architecture documentation or by building a transition extent speed up the process. From a different perspective theplan , utilize the enterprise architecture planning process. No value of the benchmarking in enterprise architecture processdoubt in order to have a basic and specific framework and also become evident when we know that by using benchmarking webecause of its vast application in governmental and can get to know the structure of other enterprises as progressivenongovernmental organizations, federal enterprise architect or successful organizations or to examine the currentreference models are utilized, though other frameworks and their benchmark able applications in the above mentionedpresented reference models can also be used. Results obtained organizations. Also the techniques and procedures in otherfrom proposed approach are indicative of reduced enterprise organizations based on benchmark able IT are being examinedarchitecture planning process time especially the target and finally the current projects in other organizations which arearchitecture documentation, also risks reduction in this process related with information technology which are benchmark ableand increased reliability in production. are being studied. Various methodologies which are being Keywords- Terminology – benchmarking; Best Practice; presented for benchmarking are all centered around process and there is no methodology or approach for benchmarking hasEnterprise Architecture Planning Process; Architecture ever presented at enterprise architecture level. In this paperReference Models; Federal Enterprise Architecture effort has been made to present a documented method to useFramework benchmarking in the enterprise architecture planning process so that the current risks in target documented architecture and in the transition plan will be reduced. In the 2nd section a short review on the enterprise architecture planning process as one of
the enterprise architecture process phases is made. In the 3rd is of prime importance as it presents suitable standard forsection, the federal enterprise architecture framework and its future progress evaluation. On this basis it can be concludedreference models are discussed and in the 4th section the that what changes have taken place in the state [2, 3]. At thisbenchmarking process is introduced. The benchmarking stage of enterprise architecture planning process no need is feltmethod in the enterprise architecture planning process, in the for benchmarking as these descriptions and modeling must be5th section and in the 6th section, the outstanding challenges in based on the present and current facts of the enterprise.this area is expressed. Finally the conclusion is presented in the7th section. It must be said that in order to prove the validity of B. Develop target enterprise architecturethis work, the results of this study have been implemented onseveral enterprise architecture projects as case studies which in The target architecture must provide a vision of the futureevery one of them the outcome agrees with expectations. operation and its technological support. At this stage of enterprise architecture planning process making use of the II. ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE PLANNING PROCESS experiences of successful organizations or put it differently, Enterprise architecture planning process is part of benchmarking the successful experiences can help effectivelyenterprise architecture process that is shown in Fig. 1. to reliability, agility and being close to reality of the documentation of target architecture. In next sections, after The enterprise architecture planning is a process used to having familiarized with the benchmarking process we havedefine the essential architecture (business architecture, data presented a method which would be used to document thearchitecture, application architecture and technology target state of architecture.architecture) and planning for the implementation of the abovearchitecture and its objective is to bring about state where C. Implementing the Transition Plan (develop sequencinginformation can be used more effectively to support the plan)enterprise mission . The enterprise architecture planning is aprocess which in the end results in missions and architecture The changes that must be carried out in order to transfer thedefinition of an organization . As it can be seen in fig. 1 this present state to the target one cannot be happened at once. Toprocess consists of four elements of encouraging the transfer from the present state to the target one, having aorganizations top management, to create baseline architecture, transfer plan is the best. The transfer plan must include a stepdocument an architecture for the target state and the by step process to transfer from present state to the target one.implementation of transition plans. Of course, in this paper The particulars of the transfer plan are that while it includes thebecause encouraging the top management is considered to be present state, it also embraces the development plan. The abovepart of management system, is not discussed here. mentioned plans are either currently being implemented or will be implemented in the future [1, 2]. This plan is mainly implemented on the basis of identified architectural requirements of the target state . In this part of enterprise architecture planning process, it seems that it will be possible to benchmark the successful experiences. Since in the enterprise architecture process the organization is studied in four layers of business, data, application and technology, or in other word, the present state and the target one are implemented in four layers and the transfer plan must be used to transfer from the above four layers architecture in the present state to the four layers architecture in the target state . In benchmarking, these four layers must be born in mind as it will be referred to in the sections to come, for this purpose, the reference model offered by architecture frameworks will be utilized. Because the federal architecture framework is more popular in governmental and nongovernmental organizations , in this paper, this framework is considered to be the reference framework. III. FEDERAL ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE Figure 1. Enterprise Architecture Process FRAMEWORK(FEAF) AND REFERENCE MODELS In order to have a well defined enterprise architecture it must be somehow possible to bring the complexity of the enterprise under the control and to determine what views or models are required to do the enterprise architecture. In thisA. develop baseline enterprise architecture way it would be possible to bring the enterprise architecture The first logical step towards the enterprise architecture under the control and manage large volume of informationplanning is to describe the present state of the enterprise. This hidden in enterprise architecture. This is how John A.
Zachman, the creator of Zackman framework defines the Benchmarking, Process Benchmarking and strategicarchitecture framework : benchmarking . “ the enterprise architecture framework is a logical structure From the point of view that who is being benchmarked,used to categorize and organize the various descriptions of an benchmarking is divided to four kinds: Internal Benchmarking,organization which are important for the management and the Competitive Benchmarking, Non Competitive Benchmarkingdevelopment of her systems” . Various types of architecture and Best Practice Benchmarking [9, 10, 11]. What has beenframeworks have been created depending on their application considered in this paper so far as benchmarking, was thenamely Zachman, FEAF, TOGAF, …which in this section we benchmarking of the best practice type, hence it is necessary togenerally introduce federal framework.The goal of FEAF is to fully understand the meaning of the best practice. There areease , develop common processes and common information many definitions of best practices; some of them are as followsbetween federal agencies and other governmental agencies. :This framework is suitable for governmental application andprofit making and nonprofit making organizations. Federal • Something which is effective.framework is depicted in fig. 2. As can be seen, various parts of • Something which works perfect.this framework are [6, 16]: architecture drivers, strategicdirection, current architecture, target architecture, transitional • Something which repeatedly demonstrateprocesses, architectural segments, architecture models and effectiveness.standards. Best practices can be identified outside or inside the organization. V. THE BENCHMARKING METHOD IN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURAL PLANNING PROCESS What this paper has been focusing on is the utilization of benchmarking using the best practices in the enterprise architecture planning process. As has been described in sections 2-2 and 3-2, the benchmarking may be used in two sections of target architecture and transition plan from enterprise architecture planning process. In this section the way they were presented in two above sections are being studied. A. Benchmarking in target architecture from enterprise architecture planning process As has been mentioned in the previous sections because the Figure 2. Federal architecture framework target architecture is being developed in four layers (business, data, application and technology), the benchmarking process It can be said that reference models are a list of best must observe these four layers in development of the targetpractices of other organizations and makes the organizations architecture. In order to achieve this aim, the reference modelsconsistent with their own architecture drivers. In fact the main which have been offered by ّ EAF, must be utilized which has Faim of reference models FEAF, is to standardize the been covered in section 3. The benchmarking model that hasorganizations components, to make better use of mission goals been presented is depicted in fig. 3 which every stage will beand to enhance the effectiveness . Since the enterprise explained along.architecture study the organization in layer style, for everylayer a reference model in considered. Reference models that Since benchmarking is one of the sustained improvementare provided by federal framework are: Performance Reference approaches , it must be carried out gradually andModel (PRM), Business Reference Model (BRM), Service continuously and the model may be repetitive however itReference Model (SRM), Data Reference Model (DRM) and results in evolution.Technology Reference Model (TRM) which can be referred to 1) Identifying Benchmark able Domainreferences [6, 7, 16] for further study. In this stage, those sections and domains of the four layer enterprise architecture that have added values for IV. BENCHMARKING benchmarking are selected. We can use the reference model Benchmarking is a continuous evaluation process and the when we want to search for these domains. In order to choosecomparison between the home business processes and the the benchmark able domains we use taxonomy approach [5,corresponding processes in the progressive organizations to 12].obtain information which will help organizations to identify theimprovements and put them into action . Benchmarking canbe divided into various kinds depending on what or who is tobe benchmarked. Based on what is to be benchmarked, thebenchmarking process is divided into three types; Functional
TABLE II. NORMALIZED DATA TABLE STANDARD A B C CASE BA1 1.21 -0.45 0.17 BA2 0.72 2 1 BA3 -1.21 1.35 1.54 BA4 -0.75 -1.35 -0.51 1.21 1.35 1.54 DO j ( is the positive ideal value for each standard) DO j Figure 3. the Benchmarking Model of the Target Architecture 4) Determination of compound distance between options basis on formula  Since the federal framework reference models are m ∑ (z − zbj )hierarchical we are facing a multilevel priority with various 2standards. In order to prioritize the leaves of hierarchy of every Dab = ajreference model, we calculate the priority of every node and j ==1 (2)then to calculate the priority of leaves, take the average of eachhierarchical node and its parents to calculate the priority of 5) Shortest distance determination (in the above table, theleaves. As an example, in this section, we demonstrate how last column represents the shortest distance)taxonomy approach can be used to calculate the first levelpriority of the business reference model, i.e. business domains 6) Option restriction (option homogenous)for three hypothetical standard A,B,C . In the following At this stage, the upper and lower boundaries of thesection, each of the eight stages approach is being applied: distance are obtained and the values outside this range are 1) Having unknown options with respect to the aim of the removed from data table and go through the process oncesubject in question and determination of the various indexes for again. To determine the upper and lower boundaries, theselecting the options (supposing we have four options ;BA1, following formula is also being used:BA2, BA3, BA4 where we want to measure their priorities on (Upper boundary)the basis of three criteria A,B,C). The value of each option withrespect to every criterion is represented by a figure rangingfrom zero to five. or+ = d r + 2δ d r (3) 2) Forming data matrix and calculate the mean and standarddeviation. (Lower boundary) 3) Resulted data normalization matrix based on formula  or− = d r − 2δ d r (4) X IJ − X I Z IJ = ` (1) δI Which in this example the upper boundary becomes 2.81 and the lower 0.29 . We do not need to remove any value as the distances are within the required range. TABLE I. DATA TABLE STANDARD A B C TABLE III. DISTANCE BETWEEN OPTIONS CASE BA1 BA2 BA3 BA4 (shortest BA1 5 1 3 gap) BA2 4 2 1 dr BA3 0 3 5 BA1 0 1.56 2.44 2.23 1.56 BA2 1.56 0 3.31 2.4 1.56 BA4 1 0 2 BA3 2.44 3.31 0 3.72 2.44 BA4 2.23 2.4 3.72 0 2.4 2.5 1.5 2.75 1.55 1.81 2.36 2.08 1.55 dr δJ 2.06 1.11 1.46 δd r 0.47 0.44 0.41 1.67 0.63
3) The study of the Best Practice and Current Informal Organizational State The domains which have been selected in the first part are being examined in organizations that are chosen as a best practice. Also the informal organizational state must be examined in the same domains. 4) Gap Analysis After having studied the best practices and the informal organizational state, the distance between them must be analyzed. Various approaches of gap analysis mentioned in  can be used to carry out the task. 5) Feasibility Study After having studied the gap analysis, it is the time to investigating whether it is possible to transfer the best practices Figure 4. Benchmarking partner selection process of the progressive organization to enterprise architecture planning process , related to informal organization or not? This 7) Determination of pattern or exemplar. (At this stage the stage is of prime importance because of the limitations andpattern of every option is calculated according to formula ) constraints that similar organizations encounter, It is not always possible to transfer others experiences to another organization. This stage must be considered from three view points of m 2 technical, operational and economical.Cio = ∑ (z j =1 ij − DO J ) (5) 6) Planning to Apply Providing that the results of feasibility study prove positive, the transfer and customization of the good practices of the successful organization to informal organization must be 8) Sort or categorize the spreading out of options .(at this planned [8, 9].stage using the formula ) 7) Acceptance and Reviews At this stage, the formal acceptance of the top management in order to make changes will be sought. The project team must Cio not wait till the project is completed rather they have to assess Fi = , CO = cio + 2δCIO (6) the progress of the project during the benchmarking period CO . Making use of analysis SWOT during the information preparation for review is extremely useful. Calculate the priority of each option which in this exampleis as follows (has shown in table IV): B. Benchmarking for Transition Plan Creation This way the priority of each node is calculated and finally Benchmarking the transition plan of benchmarking processin order of priority, the benchmark able domains will be kind is considered to be the best practices, because it examinesspecified. and benchmark the ways and means of reaching the aim in 2) Identifying Best Practice Candidate and Benchmarking progressive organization. Certainly the work requires to benchmark for the transfer plan is less than the work requiredPartner for target architecture documentation, since in this case it is notIn this section , with regards to criteria and benchmarking required to examine the other reference models.domains that we have chosen in the previous stage, a numberof progressive organization are chosen as best practicescandidate . The process shown in figure 4 illustrates clearly VI. CHALLENGESthis stage of benchmarking. Despite the presented approach for benchmarking in enterprise architecture planning process, there are challenges TABLE IV. OPTIONS PERIORITY and problems which deserve considerations and study. Two instances of these challenges are: Cio F i priority • Assessing the best practices and customizing their BA1 2.26 0.59 1 experiences for transferring to informal organization is not an easy task. BA2 2.91 0.76 3 • In benchmarking the best practices, normally the BA3 2.42 0.63 2 current state of the progressive organizations is BA4 3.9 1.02 4 taken as a desired state for the informal organization.
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