Architecture efforts coming to a head

A slew of federal enterprise architecture initiatives from the Office of Management and Budget program management office should come to fruition in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, OMB’s chief architect, Dick Burk, launched a federal enterprise architecture action plan containing 18 action items, collectively led by nine organizations.

“Some of these initiatives are farther along than others at this point,” said Adam Schwartz, a detailee in the federal enterprise architecture program management office. “It is a two-year effort,” he added while giving a presentation at a July ArchitecturePlus seminar.

Among the initiatives slated for delivery in September are two new federal enterprise architecture profiles, one for records management and one for geospatial information, Schwartz said. Profiles are intended to bring together guidance and best practices into a basic methodology that agencies can use in their planning processes.

The records management profile will ensure that preservation becomes an integral part of day-to-day government business, said Reynolds Cahoon, the National Archives and Records Administration’s chief information officer.

Cahoon, who also spoke during the seminar, is the new co-chairman of the CIO Council’s Architecture and Infrastructure Committee. He replaces John Gilligan, who stepped down when he retired as the Air Force’s CIO earlier this year.

Two concept-of-operations documents should also be released soon, one for the lines of business and one for the federal enterprise architecture itself, Schwartz said. The former will define exactly what a line of business is and help agencies plan their transition to the cross-agency service centers that four of the existing six lines of business task forces have proposed. The enterprise architecture paper will help support agency integration of existing e-government initiatives and the lines of business.

In addition, the committee will release a white paper on federal enterprise architecture service components, Schwartz said.

The Chief Architects Forum is putting the finishing touches on a federal enterprise architecture glossary. The glossary, due out later this month, will define 175 common enterprise architecture terms.

Future plans include the completion of a study on federal enterprise architecture collaboration tools, including and the federal enterprise architecture management system. The e-authentication initiative is set to become the first reusable component in the repository. A collaboration tools whitepaper should be complete for OMB review by October or November, Schwartz said.

Also, as part of an ongoing effort to link the performance reference model to the Program Assessment Rating Tool, the program management office will map the relationships among government performance measurement processes. That includes identifying the relationships between the model and the Government Performance and Results Act, Schwartz added.

The program office also plans to release quarterly updates of federal enterprise architecture efforts, the first of which was posted on its Web site Aug. 9. In addition, case studies documenting successful agency architecture implementations will be posted.

One case study is already available on the program office’s Web site. It highlights advances made at the Food and Drug Administration. IT consolidation there as a result of architecture efforts should save the agency $10 million in the next five years, the case study states.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.


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