TOGAF® ADM Phases Explained

Do you want to develop good enterprise architecture with the TOGAF ADM? Are you searching for the TOGAF ADM Phases to be explained? If you do, you are at the right place.

One thing that we can agree on is the challenges of creating a suitable architecture for an organization. You don't want to spend lots of time and effort only to discover later that the new structure isn't feasible. Also, you don't want to erode or compromise the enterprise's vision and goals. Working with a reputable company makes the exercise easier and ensures the new structure upholds the organization's visions and goals.

TOGAF ADM Phases Explained

At a Glance

TOGAF ADM Overview

TOGAF ADM is a critical part of the TOGAF Standard. It's been in use for many years and has proven reliable and effective for most enterprises. The goal of the model is to create an Enterprise Architecture that is in line with the organization's vision and needs while utilizing existing architectural assets and TOGAF elements.

What is the TOGAF ADM?

The TOGAF ADM is a logical approach to developing knowledge. Each Phase identifies the key activity steps and information inputs necessary to develop the knowledge required to develop an enterprise architecture. TOGAF ADM is the core of the TOGAF Standard. The TOGAF ADM is universal. It scales to develop enterprise architecture appropriate for every level of detail - strategy, portfolio, project, and solution delivery.

The ADM is inherently incremental and iterative. The process takes advantage of the existing architecture and TOGAF Foundation Architecture elements. TOGAF ADM graphic is a simplified representation showing essential information flows. The TOGAF ADM is not an activity sequence. Far too many people look at the TOGAF ADM graphic and misunderstand it as a linear waterfall process model.

Every time the EA team is undertaking any activity to develop the information that comes from an ADM Phase, they are executing a Phase. An Enterprise Architect always needs to consume the mandatory inputs and produce the mandatory outputs. This applies to all ADM phases.

Using the TOGAF ADM as an information model helps the enterprise architect achieve maximum efficiency and productivity.


The Architecture Development Method (ADM) falls under 9 key Phases. Each aims at covering a specific role and completely describes the essential aspects. These include identifying and understanding the objectives, input requirement, necessary steps, and output. Following the phases or stages is critical to optimizing the potential of TOGAF ADM.

TOGAF ADM Phases Explained

In this section, we will explain the TOGAF ADM Phases establishing an enterprise architecture capability.

Preliminary Phase - Framework and Principles

The introductory, also known as the Preliminary Phase, is used to develop the enterprise architecture team. It focuses on the key issues or questions that the enterprise architecture team must address. These include:

  • Who does it target?
  • Where to use it
  • How to use the model
  • Why do you need it

The above steps make the concept clearer to the stakeholder. It also makes application/ implementation and using it more straightforward. After understanding the preliminary phase, you'll be able to:

  • Define an organization or enterprise
  • Identify and understand the principal elements and critical drivers in an enterprise.
  • Describe the needs for architecture work
  • Define the principles that affect the architecture work
  • Identify the most feasible framework for the organization
  • Define how the different management frameworks connect
  • Assess the enterprise architecture team's maturity

TOGAF ADM Phases Explained

In this section, we will explain the TOGAF ADM Phases focused on developing an enterprise architecture.

Phase A: Defining Architecture Vision

All architecture development needs to start with Phase A. Without the Phase A set-up, an enterprise architect cannot have confidence they are working on the right problem, with the right constraints, and right stakeholders. Without Phase A, expect to slide off-course and cannot deliver useful architecture.

Phase A starts with the concept of a Request for Architecture Work. The critical activities are to confirm the architecture scope, stakeholders, stakeholder concerns, and constraints from superior architecture. Then create an architecture vision - a suitable summary of one or more candidate target architectures. If one or more summary candidate targets show they might deliver an improvement for a reasonable amount of work, you have enough information to proceed. The ultimate step is to get approvals to proceed with developing the enterprise architecture.

Remember, it is a great success to stop all architecture development if there is no suitable architecture vision. If your stakeholders cannot see a path to sufficient value, the enterprise architecture team has saved the organization's scarce change resources.

Do not be surprised if you have over one architecture alternative expressed as different Architecture Visions. You rarely have enough information to select the best-path in Phase A.

TOGAF ADM Phase A - Start at the Beginning with an Architecture Vision looks at Phase A Deliverables, enabling Architecture Governance, and Phase A Guidelines and Techniques.

Phase B: Developing the Business Architecture

This phase develops the business architecture domain - the current business structure and what a stakeholder intends to achieve. The first step centers on things like organizational design, enterprise process, information flows, business capability, and strategic business planning. Proper assessment and understanding of this phase are critical.

TOGAF ADM Phase B – Develop the Business Architecture covers Phase B deliverables, Business Architecture Models and Phase B Guidelines and Techniques.

We use a capability model as a management concept to focus attention on the things we must improve. Download a free Business Architecture Capability Assessment Guide.

Phase C: Developing Information Systems Architectures

With the information gathered in Phase B and a better understanding of the enterprise, the next step is to Information Systems Architecture development. It's very detailed and will focus on the Data and Applications. Both the Data Architecture Domain and the Application Architecture Domain are treated individually.

Phase C: Developing the Application Architecture

TOGAF ADM Phase C – Develop the Application Architecture covers Phase C Application Architecture deliverables, Application Architecture Models and Phase C Guidelines and Techniques.

Phase D: Describing and Developing Technology Architecture

Identifying, describing, and developing the Technology Architecture is the next phase. It considers the following things:

  • Identifying viewpoints, goals, reference models, and tools
  • Describing and creating Baseline Technology Architecture
  • Describing and coming up with suitable Target Technology Architecture
  • Undertaking gap analysis
  • Defining roadmap elements
  • Resolving Architecture Landscape effects
  • Undertaking stakeholder review
  • Finalizing Technology Architecture
  • Coming up with Architecture Definition Document

TOGAF ADM Phase D – Develop the Technology Architecture covers Phase D Technology Architecture deliverables, Technology Architecture Models and Phase D Guidelines and Techniques.

Training Path to success

TOGAF ADM Phases Explained

In this section, we will explain the TOGAF ADM Phases focusing on transitioning the target architecture to successful change.

Phase E: Identifying Opportunities and Solutions

The EA team identifies opportunities and looks for the best solutions to any arising or previous issues. The phase identifies key phases, change parameters, top-level projects, and more.

A firm helping an enterprise achieve the proper infrastructure will repeatedly use TOGAF ADM Cycle. Doing so ensures that we achieve the best model, leaving no core elements out. The EA team invests in proven methods to accomplish this.

In TOGAF ADM Phase E, you develop the Architecture Roadmap.

TOGAF ADM Phase E – Build the Architecture Roadmap covers Phase E Architecture Roadmap Deliverables, Architecture Roadmap techniques and Phase E tools.

 Phase F: Crafting a Migration Plan

Having a proper migration plan ensures a seamless transition. It incorporates all the essential elements and spells out the mode of implementation according to priority. Cost assessment, benefits, dependency evaluation, are some of the activities factored in.

TOGAF ADM Phase F – Craft  the Implementation Plan covers Phase F Implementation Plan Deliverables, Implementation Plan techniques and Phase E tools.

Phase G: Governance Implementation 

The Implementation Governance phase focuses on implementing the changes in the Architecture Roadmap and Implementation Plan. Also, it takes into account helpful information from other implementation projects. Good architecture governance helps to manage a project successfully while experiencing minimal risk.

Phase H: Establishing Architecture Change Management

Architecture Change Management involves ensuring the benefits expected from the target enterprise architecture are being achieved. As well, we make sure the target architect applies to the organization's current circumstances and ecosystem.

It specifies the key attributes, target point, and how to manage the exercise. The phase works with the Architecture Requirements Management process and is continuous.

TOGAF Phase H - Applying Agile and our recorded Webinar True Life EA Webinar: Agile COVID-19 Response explain real-work realization of Enterprise Agility led by best-practice enterprise architects. Enterprise agility is all about the ability to respond to unanticipated opportunities and threats.

Final Thoughts

Complete understanding of the TOGAF 9 ADM Phases helps draft the most feasible plan. It will capture the enterprise's vision, offer the best solutions to achieve this, and be scalable to meet ever-changing needs and market. Working with a firm like Conexiam makes achieving your goals and visions easier.

Our firm prides itself on being a leader regarding TOGAF Architecture Development Method (TOGAF ADM). We have been in the field for a long time and have helped many enterprises achieve their digital transformation goals. Our online enterprise architecture training platform targets different clients and keeps abreast of the latest trends and innovations. By working with us, you'll reach your visions and goals with minimal hassle.

Please contact us. With us, implementing the best enterprise architecture is a stress-free process.

DIY Path to success

Use experts to speed your journey to a successful EA Team? Book a call at a time to suit your schedule

Take the fastest path to a successful EA Team, Predictable Enterprise Architecture Consulting Engagements. In fixed time blocks, we will develop your team and ensure they deliver useful architecture.

Use our custom and packaged training. Comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Training, TOGAF Certification Training, or specialized skills like Stakeholder Engagement.

Scroll to Top