ArchiMate from theory to practice: series overview


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Bas van Gils & Sven van Dijk
Posted by Bas van Gils & Sven van Dijk on Oct 7, 2013

ArchiMate

Welcome to our blog. This is an archived post, most of our knowledge and advice remain valid but some material or links may be outdated. Click here to see our most recent blog posts.

Enterprise modeling is an increasingly important topic for many organizations. It is widely recognized that models help understand the complex interplay of all elements that make up an organization. One of our clients uses “POPIT” (People, Organization, Process, Information and Technology) as an abbreviation to denote some of these elements. It is easy to extend this with service offering, culture, and many other aspects. This understanding gives a sense of grip, which is particularly useful in the face of managing change across the enterprise.

Over the last few years, ArchiMate has quickly become the de facto standard for enterprise (architecture) modeling. The language was developed by a large consortium in the Netherlands, and is now a widely accepted, open, international standard. A lot has been written about ArchiMate. A small selection of some excellent resources are:

After gaining experience through many presentations, courses, certification trainings and workshops with clients, we have learned that practical guidance about ArchiMate is in high demand. While the language is fairly straightforward and easy to learn, practitioners often require further guidance on getting started. With this series of blogs we intend to fill this gap. The following diagram gives an overview of the series:

We start with a series of seven postings where we explain some of the “fundamental” aspects of the language. We do not intend to discuss all the concepts and relations of the language, which would be a duplication of the specification and several other books. Instead, we focus on the main principles behind the language, which sets the stage for discussion on how to use the language in practice.

Our experience in practice, especially in consulting assignments, is that a brief explanation of these fundamentals provides practitioners with sufficient background to quickly start modeling: it helps to understand the (definitions of) concepts and relations. It also aids in getting certified more quickly.

In the second part of the series we start focusing on practical aspects. Based on discussions with clients, in training sessions as well as various LinkedIn groups we intend to cover a wide range of topics that practitioners struggle with. The diagram above already mentions some examples. If you have further suggestions about topics you would like us to cover, please drop us a note in the comments section and we will try to incorporate it in that part of the series.

Talking about how to do things is useful, but we feel that it is better to illustrate our best practices with a worked example. In the third part of the series we will use the case of a (fictitious) organization called “BriteLite” – a manufacturer of lighting solutions that is facing several strategic challenges – to show how our best practices can be used.

Last but not least, we intend to maintain a rhythm of one posting per week. Don’t wait too long to drop us a note about your requests and thoughts!

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