Agencies get directions for segment architecture
- By Doug Beizer
- Dec 15, 2008
A multiagency team put together by the Office of Management and Budget
released a report that provides a step-by-step process on how agencies
can develop and use segment architectures.
The Federal Segment
Architecture Working Group published the report Dec. 9. The FSAWG is a
team of architects from 10 federal agencies, OMB and two cross-agency
The group’s report is named the
Federal Segment Architecture Methodology. Segment architecture is like
a mini-enterprise architecture that focuses on a single business
process in an organization. It identifies the data elements, technical
pieces, and performance measures for a single business process.
idea for segment architecture was born when OMB started collecting and
categorizing data from agencies to find redundancies, said Richard
Burk, the former chief architect at the Office of Management and
With OMB reporting mandates and the broad methodology
framework, some agencies began developing their own segment
architectures, Burk said.
About a year ago, the team was formed to standardize all the segment architecture efforts developed at various agencies.
drew together all the principles and picked all the best ideas and
assembled this methodology,” Burk said.“That’s what the FSAM does, it
makes it a very step-by-step, almost cookbook process for developing
segment architectures which really is a substantial portion of an
enterprise architecture,” he said.
The methodology is designed
to increase the potential for reuse and collaboration on segment
architecture among agencies, said Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for
E-Government and information technology.
“The expectation is
for agencies to come together, with encouragement from OMB, and
collaborate on segment architectures where they have shared mission,
[such as] counterterrorism or health information sharing,” Evans said.
team produced templates and tips for each step, as well as identifying
how the identified products supported capital planning, solution
architecture, IT governance, and security processes,” Evans said.
The new methodology report explains that enterprise architecture is not solely an IT issue, Burk said.
real drive for this was to try and get the architects out of their
offices and talking to the business side of the house, that was the
whole genesis of the idea of segment architecture,” he said. “As long
as we stayed at the enterprise level we weren’t really bringing much
value to the departments in terms of their core mission, and it could
easily be ignored by the business areas.”
Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.