TOGAF: Understanding the Zachman Framework

By definition, the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture provides baseline for classifying or categorizing related artifacts that are developed and designed for an organization’s enterprise architecture. Simply referred to as Zachman Framework by many, this specific framework serves as a coherent structure for organizing and managing artifacts design that are substantial to the holistic management of a certain organization. Zachman also takes on a classification scheme, which is usually used among more mature architecture/construction and engineering/manufacturing disciplines, in designing and constructing the organization’s information systems.

The Zachman Framework is comprised of a 6?6 matrix of various viewpoints and aspects. Various Zachman Framework aspects are represented in columns. These aspects include data (what?), function (how?), network (where?), people (who?), time (when?), and motivation (why?). The viewpoints on the other hand, are represented in rows, which include scope (contextual; intended for the planner), business model (conceptual; intended for the owner), system (logical; intended for the designer), technology (physical; intended for the builder), detailed representations (out-of-context; intended for the subcontractor), and functioning enterprise.

Perhaps one of the advantages of Zachman Framework is that although it is commonly used among enterprises, this framework is generic and all-inclusive. While its structure is used for the descriptive representations of any complex object, such as models or design artifacts, Zachman Framework does not recommend any specific method, automated tool, or representation technique.

Generally, Zachman Framework is capable of providing an organized approach for an enterprise to carry out its descriptive and analysis activities. Also, the framework provides full concentration for all contributing individuals who develop the organization’s enterprise information systems. They are able to focus on selected elements without failing to see the overall enterprise perspective.