ArchiMate Modeling in Practice – picking up steam again

Bas van Gils & Sven van Dijk
Posted by Bas van Gils & Sven van Dijk on Aug 25, 2013

Enterprise Architecture, 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 This is an archived post, most of our knowledge and advice remain valid but some material or links may be outdated.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 posts.


Before and during the weekend, Brenda’s team worked hard to come up with an analysis for management.
Earlier today, Brenda presented their findings to the management team, who were more than pleased with the results. During the meeting they decided to follow the recommendations by Brenda’s team and they tasked James with the appropriate actions.

Unfortunately, success comes at a price. Management tried piling up more work on Brenda’s plate during the meeting. Knowing that a lack of focus on developing the baseline / target architecture will get her in trouble, she had pushed back and had bluntly stated that this is a bad idea as it would compromise the important initiative of building these models. She ended her short speech with a rhetorical question: are we in it for the long haul, or should the team go back to putting out small fires?

After a heated discussion, management agreed that piling more work on Brenda’s plate at this point might not be the best solution after all, so other arrangements will be made. Acknowledging the decision power, Brenda indicated that her team will of course assist when possible.

Back to business

Of course Brenda shared these discussions with her team during the joint lunch. Everybody feels that the only way is up, so pressing on with the work will be best.

Team “baseline”

The baseline team reports that all individual models have been crafted and proudly shows a stack of paper. They are in the process of

  • Adding additional documentation to describe the various model elements
  • Building an HTML report that can be published on the intranet
  • Building a big poster that can be put on the wall, showing all systems and relations between systems

The team leverages functionality that is available to them in the BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio. It not only allows them to create models and diagrams, but also add relevant data as attributes to components that are part of BriteLite’s Enterprise Architecture. This data can be used for presentation, e.g. in a table like in the example below:


Various data types can be used, including text and dates as in the table above, but also quantitative data such as money amounts. The BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio also supports running detailed analysis on the model and include attribute data in queries. Results of the analysis can be presented in many formats, including diagrams and tables, but also graphs and charts. The baseline team uses information available about the run costs of its current application and adds this to their model repository. Using this they can easily generate the following charts:


Three core applications have yearly run costs greater than 100k, shown in the pie chart on the left. The run costs of the remaining applications is shown in the bar chart on the right.

Team “target”


The team that is working on the target architecture has claimed a work space on the intranet to set up the architecture repository. The figure on the right shows the various sections for different types of architecture content.

Given all the work that has been done so far, several sections already have been populated with the relevant content: the operating model has been documented, an (older) version of the business model canvas from a strategic session has been dug up, and so on. Team baseline was invited to put their models and reports in the appropriate section so that a consistent repository can be built up one step at a time.

On the content side, team target has made some progress regarding the product/service architecture, which has been added to the new repository. For each of the product categories (see our previous post “#3 where are we going”), a ‘bucket’ has been created. Each of these buckets lists the main products. To get to the details, one has to ‘drill down’ which will lead to a presentation / document that lists the underlying services and provides further explanation.

The capability maps are also in a state where they are ready for publication. The top three levels of business capabilities have been documented and approved, but one of the team members is still busy fleshing out the detailed documentation that is required to be able to use the map. The team decides to retain the stratified presentation (see our previous post “#2 getting started”) and only show the top-level capabilities.

The team is happy to have a first ‘filling’ of the top two layers of the framework as presented by Brenda (see our previous post “#6 project interruptions”) and seems ready to continue with the subsequent, more technical layers. The team manages all the architecture content in their EA solution “BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio”, where they can drill down into the various diagrams from their Start Page, as shown in the screenshot below.



In the meantime, the management team has kept the pressure on their advisors as well. They have been fleshing out the requested strategic direction but is still struggling with the details. Brenda has a short meeting with them, and returns with the following notes:

  • For manufacturing:

o   The production machines come with their own software

o   Any planning + manufacturing software that needs to sit on top will have to be purchased

  • Standard capabilities (such as CRM and ERP) are supported with standard COTS systems.

o   Best of breed

o   Only build these if the mismatch with target architecture will cause major issues in the future

  • Other systems should be built in-house

o   Preference for open source tools

o   Seek implementation partners for extra capacity when necessary

  • Do the important things first

o   The production systems are (almost) in place so do not start there

o   Work on supporting the standard capabilities first 

Back in their “war room” the team discusses the outcome of this session. This is the first time that there is explicit guidance and management attention for this topic, so the team is quite happy at first. A quick analysis reveals, though, that going for best of breed systems means purchasing systems which may not follow the structure of the architecture too much. After all, the team wanted to split the “data” from the “logic” which might not be possible in this setup. Something to think about during the next sessions.

Delivering Business Outcome with TOGAF and ArchiMate


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