What is the TOGAF Framework

The TOGAF Framework is an industry standard. The 300 member companies of the Open Group's Architecture Forum develop and publish the TOGAF Standard.

The member companies of the architecture forum worked to produce a consensus how to establish an EA Team, develop an enterprise architecture, and describe an enterprise architecture.

The TOGAF Standard provides the essential scaffolding for enterprise architecture. By design, it is modular, scalable, and configurable. By design, the TOGAF framework is not prescriptive. The scope of the essential scaffolding covers how to build an enterprise architecture team, create an enterprise architecture, and how to describe an enterprise architecture.

It provides the universal essential scaffolding for the three central problems facing enterprise architects:

  1. How to develop an enterprise architecture,
  2. How to describe an enterprise architecture
  3. What is needed to have an enterprise architecture capability

As with any enterprise architecture framework TOGAF must be configured for use. Configuration

Three Core Parts of TOGAF 9.2 Standard

3 Useful Parts of TOGAF

TOGAF Framework Structure

By design, TOGAF is modular, scalable, and configurable. By design, the TOGAF framework is not prescriptive. It provides the universal essential scaffolding for the three aspects of enterprise architecture:

  1. How to develop an enterprise architecture,
  2. What is needed to have an enterprise architecture capability
  3. How to describe an enterprise architecture content
TOGAF Standard Ecosystem

TOGAF Ecosystem

Framework not Cookbook

We use the phrase essential scaffolding to describe the TOGAF standard. Essential scaffolding, or framework, are the universal concepts that exist for all EA Teams. There is not any question whether you need or will use the essential scaffolding. You will use the essential scaffolding in TOGAF. The question is how you will translate the concept into practice.

This is the beauty and the grief of TOGAF. The TOGAF standard provides the concepts and explains how their interrelated. At no point does TOGAF tell you how you will translate the concept into practice. At every point you need to configure the universal concepts for how you will use them.

New enteprise architects are troubled that the TOGAF standard is a collection of frameworks. They want cookbook. TOGAF does not provide a cookbook.

Titling at Windmills

Most critics of TOGAF have completely missed that it is a modular collection of concepts. Most critics have a preferred configuration of a concept. Instead of following the design of the standard by using their optimized configuration, they argue TOGAF is at fault. They have missed the point of using a framework.

Oddly, most critics use the phrase “architecture framework” when referring to their preference. Yet they only speak to one small part, the architecture content meta-model. How you describe an architecture is tied to the problems faced by your enterprise and its industry.

We recommend no EA Team use the TOGAF content meta-model. Instead every EA Team needs to optimize how they will describe an architecture so they can answer their stakeholder’s concerns.

Conexiam’s Navigate is a specialized content meta-model. We optimize it to support portfolio and project decision-making. We unplug the sample content meta-model and plug-in Navigate. This is the easiest way to align with almost every other enterprise architecture framework. Almost every other EA framework is only a content meta-model.

TOGAF Development

The Open Group’s Architecture Forum develops the TOGAF standard. The open standards process ensures that many organizations have reviewed the material and agreed that it fits for their organization. They’ve agreed that it works for their organization. Over time, organizations as diverse as AMEX, IBM, Microsoft, Conexiam, Deloitte and E&Y have been involved in the development of the standard. For most of the years we have participated in the Architecture Forum we have had some 300 member companies.

The current effort of the Architecture Forum is to break TOGAF apart into the universal scaffolding, the concepts, guidance on how to use the concepts, and reference material that can be used as a starting point for your optimized configuration. This work effort will take many years because few member companies are prepared to sign their resources to a concerted effort. Especially when most of the engaged members already look at TOGAF and can separate out the cup conceptual frameworks, the guidance and the samples.

Conexiam started this effort when we had lent time of one of our senior consultants to act as chair of the Architecture Forum. We transitioned our participation to something we thought was more useful-providing guidance.

Aligning Architecture Frameworks

Enterprise Architect's Guide

Download the Enterprise Architect's Guide a TOGAF Series Guide on developing useful enterprise architecture. test

TOGAF entrprise architecture capability framework

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TOGAF Training

TOGAF Training will either teach you TOGAF, or teach you to use TOGAF to deliver enterprise architecture.

TOGAF architecture development method

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How to Get TOGAF Certified

You get TOGAF Certified by passing the Open Group's certification examinations. Level 1 covers the facts about TOGAF. Level 2 covers what parts of TOGAF are applicable to different scenarios.

TOGAF architecture content framework

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Your Enterprise Architecture Content Framework must be optimized to the purpose of your EA Team. Explore the Enterprise Architecture use cases to drive your design.

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