DOD's EA programs still struggling

Seven years after it first reported on the Defense Department’s attempts to develop enterprise architectures, the Government Accountability Office said the military services have not advanced beyond the initial steps in a five-stage model.

The Air Force has made the most significant progress, GAO auditors wrote in a recent report. That service has nearly satisfied all the core elements for the second and third stages and at least some of the elements for stages four and five, as detailed in GAO’s Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework.

The Navy has partially satisfied 13 percent of the core elements in the five stages, while the Army has satisfied only 3 percent of its requirements and none at all for stages three through five, the GAO report states.

Auditors said the lack of progress means that “DOD, as a whole, is not as well-positioned as it should be to realize the significant benefits that a well-managed federation of architectures can afford its business systems modernization efforts.”

In comparison, GAO said other major federal agencies had fully satisfied more than two-thirds of the framework’s core elements.

The key to having a mature EA program is sustained leadership, GAO officials said, adding that the Navy and Army could benefit from the Air Force’s experiences.

In a written response to GAO’s report, Paul Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of Defense for business transformation, said the secretary of Defense will direct the other services to work with the Air Force to find ways of sharing best practices.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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