Agencies expand EA knowledge

Knowing what mix of business and technical skills are needed to develop an agency's enterprise architecture plan can be anybody's guess, which can make choosing who to assign to these projects difficult.

Now, thanks to a new training program started this spring and set to expand next month, an agency might start by making the core of its EA team graduates of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Certificate (FEAC) program.

The FEAC program is a 10-week college-level course that teaches students what an EA is and how to start building one. EAs, which are required by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 but have a reputation for being an esoteric management exercise, are supposed to better align an agency's business mission with its information technology spending. Many agencies belatedly started their EA efforts when the Office of Management and Budget started to make budget approvals contingent on adequate EA plans, but the work has not always been easy.

"A lot of people in [government] understand enterprise architecture at a very high level, but there's a lot of confusion about the actual procedures that need to be undertaken," said Beryl Bellman, director of the FEAC program and a professor at California State University, Los Angeles.

The university developed the program, which began in March, to teach students about EAs through practical, hands-on training, Bellman said, adding that interest in the program — from federal employees and contractors — has been high. The CIO Council supported the creation of the program and acts as an ongoing adviser to ensure that the course content is timely and reflects current laws and regulations. GSolutions of Washington, D.C., runs the program locally.

Among those enrolled in the current program are several senior-level federal IT employees who will be in charge of shaping their agencies' EA programs, said Tom Dalpini, an instructor in the program and a senior systems engineer with systems integrator Conquest Inc.

The first two weeks of the program consist of classroom instruction and cover topics such as:

n EA frameworks in concept and in practice in the government, including the general Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework and the Treasury Department's popular EA framework.

n Evaluating and using visual modeling tools to create an EA.

n Working with EA consultants.

Students spend the remainder of the course at their workplaces. There, with instructor supervision, they develop the bones of EAs that can be used by their agencies. The course culminates in a written and oral examination.

Faculty members were drawn from academia, industry and the federal government. The program will soon be operated by the new nonprofit FEAC Institute ( Other plans include expanding the program to several colleges across the country. n

Upcoming courses The inaugural session of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Certificate program began in March. Enrollment costs $9,950 per student. A repeat session of the original program will start in August, and sessions will then be held quarterly. A new program scheduled to begin in June will cover the Defense Department Architecture Framework. Yet another track planned for a September start will cover security architecture.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group