The application of a framework. when constructing an Enterprise Architecture, provides a context within which architectural artifacts can be defined. This assists in the establishment of relationships between components and ensuring some degree of consistency.
Frameworks (plural) have been in existence for many years with there being no ‘one size fits all‘ solution. Frameworks have been designed to suit specific purposes. Some to meet the needs of particular industry segments, governments or propriety needs. The frameworks themselves offer different levels of complexity and richness to their users. How they differ will be discussed at a later time.
In some cases there is a familial relationship between the different frameworks. As an example Australian Government Architecture (AGA), the framework adopted by the Australian (Federal) Government, was based on an earlier version of the US Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF). The two have not been kept in alignment however with FEAF being updated to resolve some issues this has not resulted in similar updates to AGA. At the same time the Queensland Government rolled their own framework. There are few points in common.
A framework can provide significant benefit to its user. However the fact that there are so many to choose from suggests that none fully meets everyone’s needs. Cynically one could ask if any truly meets anyone’s needs.
Ultimately any framework adopted needs to support its adopting organisation. This may be achieved by ‘picking the eyes’ out of a number of different frameworks to create a hybrid that resonates within the enterprise. If resonance does not occur then no matter what is adopted it is unlikely to fulfill its primary purpose of supporting the effective realisation of an organisations vision.
Frameworks can be useful so adopt or build one that really works for the organisation.