I don't know your experience with this, but I always had this feeling that Enterprise Architecture is one of those things that everybody talks about without quite knowing what actually is.
I myself can be blamed about this very same thing… I have practiced IT Architecture for years at different levels and across different domains. And, despite always doing my best; learning from brilliant people and working on challenging projects, the same issues emerged over and over again. Here are just a few:
- The focus on a narrow scope wouldn't let me connect with the global picture or the ultimate vision that was driving what I was doing.
- Despite using the most widely accepted conventions in the field, I regularly witnessed how interactions with stakeholders from other domains were hard and painful. There was no “lingua franca” and everybody had to make their best to bridge the gap.
- I was learning incrementally about discrete techniques and approaches and thinking, “this is it”.
I couldn't be more wrong… Eventually, it became obvious to me that, in this hyper-sophisticated world, many things must have already been solved; that my quest to connect with a global vision (whatever that meant at each moment), had a body of knowledge, a method and a set of techniques; that a community of people concerned about them must be doing something somewhere. In other words, somebody must have applied the mindset of an Architect to the Architecture discipline itself.
If all that was true, I had to do something. Otherwise, I would be doomed to fighting the trees without understanding the forest. And, in a sense, I would also be reinventing the wheel over and over again.
Unfortunately, this has a limited impact unless TOGAF becomes a widespread practice in the industry and becomes a de-facto standard. That is why I have decided to share some materials I've developed while I was preparing my certification. I have translated the books (TOGAF 9.1 and 9.2) into a series of interconnected mind maps. There, you will find, not just the structure and the key elements of each topic, but also links going back to the original sources, embedded diagrams, notes, and other online references.
I have found them useful not only to study the subject but also as a quick reference that can be used for everyday practice. I wish you find it useful too and, if you have any feedback, just let me know! :D