DOD's Wisnosky: EA needs notation

When electrical engineers looks at a schematic diagram, they can understand what it says regardless of what language they speak. When musicians sit down and open a musical score, they know what notes to play even if the title and lyrics are in an unfamiliar tongue.


That's because those fields have standardized symbolic languages that are familiar to trained professionals worldwide, said Dennis Wisnosky, chief architect and chief technical officer for the Defense Department's Business Mission Area. There is a particular symbol that indicates where a resistor should be soldered onto a circuit board. Musical notation tells members of the orchestra what notes to play and when.


Nothing like that exists for enterprise architecture, and it should, he said, speaking today at Architecture & Process, a conference presented by Pacificdialogue Trade Show Bureau in downtown Washington.


The enterprise architecture field needs a common set of "primitives," symbols and shapes that any architect can read, he said. They will have to come from standards bodies collaborating to create something that spans the discipline.


"I don't see anybody working on this right now," he said.


Wisnosky advocates developing federated enterprise architectures that encapsulate segments of an organization's work, rather than trying to cover a large mission in one document, he said. Wisnosky favors developing re-usable modules that become available to an organization through a database.


"Everything we build is big, big, big," he said. "My goal is to build it faster, build it lighter, build it better."


Using such reusable modules when possible, and developing a metadata registry to keep track of data that has not yet become part of such a module, can reduce the development time of an effective architecture from several years down to 12 or 18 months, he said.


 

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.