Apr 8 2014

Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: Current vs Future State Architectures

Roadmaps are a fundamental part of strategic planning and enterprise architecture. It allows businesses to map out a set of actions that are required to move from where it is today, to where it wants to go; those actions turn into plans. Roadmapping enables organizations to tie strategy to deliverables using enterprise architecture, crucial for delivering on initiatives that have been prioritized.

In Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: An Introduction, we explained the importance of Roadmaps in EA, and now this second part looks into Current v Future State Architectures and how they are related using ArchiMate®. We also link our approach into IBM Rational System Architect® so that you can see a real-world implementation of roadmapping in an Enterprise Architecture tool.

Extending ArchiMate® 2.1

In its native form, ArchiMate 2.1 provides support for defining Plateau, Deliverable, Work Package and Gap concepts:

ArchiMate Plateau, Deliverable, Work Package and Gap concepts

  • Plateau - A relatively stable state of the Architecture that exists during a limited time period.
  • Deliverable - A precisely-defined outcome of a work package.
  • Work package - A series of actions designed to accomplish a unique goal within a specified time.
  • Gap - An outcome of a gap analysis
    between two plateaus. 
    (The Open Group's ArchiMate® 2.1 - A Pocket Guide, 2013)

In order to make ArchiMate® 2.1 pragmatic for roadmapping, we have extended the core ArchiMate metamodel to include both Workspaces and Work Package Milestones (Milestones will be covered in part 3 of our 4 part blog series).

Plateau is mapped to a Workspace definition

Figure 1: A Plateau is mapped to a Workspace definition which itself represents a workspace.

IBM Rational System Architect® provides capabilities known as workspaces. Workspaces allow you to create distinct temporal architecture work areas for different reasons, such as Current, interim and Future Business and IT architectures.

Current vs. Future State Architectures

By introducing the new Workspace and Work Package Milestone concepts, we can build a view of our architecture using Plateaus and Gaps. In IBM Rational System Architect®, we use an ArchiMate® Implementation & Migration diagram to represent this view.

The plateau ‘2013 ArchiSurance Architecture’ is triggered by ‘2012 ArchiSurance Architecture’Figure 2: The plateau ‘2013 ArchiSurance Architecture’ is triggered by ‘2012 ArchiSurance Architecture’. The Gap between these two plateaus is 2012-2013 Pet Insurance

Figure 3 shows how we can map a Workspace definition in IBM Rational System Architect® to the Plateau. In its advanced edit mode, the Refresh Workspaces button will refresh the encyclopedia's list of workspaces as definitions in the current workspace.

Mapping a Workspace definition in System ArchitectFigure 3: Mapping a Workspace definition in System Architect

Workspace differences in IBM Rational System Architect

Figure 4: Workspace differences in IBM Rational System Architect®

As each Plateau is represented by a Workspace, we can use the standard capabilities of IBM Rational System Architect® to show differences between the Workspaces and store these against the Gap (a standard ArchiMate® concept).

The differencing tools provided are; SA Compare, showing the full set of differences across the two workspaces; Diagram Compare, graphically showing the changes in a diagram between the workspaces and History Compare, which provides a fully filtered and searchable view of the workspace deltas. The outputs of comparisons can be stored against the URL property.

We can now extend the view further to include other model elements that help describe the transition plan.

Extended viewFigure 5: Extended view

In summary, ArchiMate® provides an implementation and migration view that allows us to model current and future state architectures. At Corso, we’ve combined this with capabilities in IBM Rational System Architect® that allow you to define plateaus, workspaces, gaps and work packages. You can now use ArchiMate to really define your current and future state architectures.

Quick Tip: Use an ArchiMate® implementation and migration view to manage your repository workspace strategy and how you expect to divide up work packages and transitions.

If you would like to read more on this subject, check out Corso’s Pragmatic Roadmapping with IBM Rational System Architect and ArchiMate whitepaper.

Alternatively, subscribe to Corso’s blog and get a notification when we release the next part of this blog series. 

  Read more about EA Roadmapping

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