I have not intentions of adopting the Zachman Framework for my software development effort, however as with many other things it’s always a good idea to keep a birdseye view of the business and allow inspiration from other domains and disciplines to flow freely… exactly for this reason have I been looking a framework such as the Zachman framework which really doesn’t make a lot of sense to adopt unless you’re a contractor for the US military, General Motors or something similar.
The Zachman Framework is a framework for enterprise architecture, which provides a formal and highly structured way of viewing and defining an enterprise. The Framework is used for organizing enterprise architectural “artifacts” in a way that takes into account both:
- Who the artifact targets for example, business owner and builder, and
- What particular issue for example, data and functionality is being addressed?
These artifacts may include design documents, specifications, and models.
The Framework is in essence a matrix and is named after its creator John Zachman, who first developed the concept in the 1980s at IBM.
The Zachman Framework summarizes a collection of perspectives involved in enterprise architecture. These perspectives are represented in a two-dimensional matrix that defines along the rows the type of stakeholders and with the columns the aspects of the architecture. The framework does not define a process for architecture. Rather the matrix is a template that must be filled in by the processes specifically required by the organization. If these processes do not exist already, the framework helps identify these gaps in the architecture.
The framework is a simple and logical structure for classifying and organizing the descriptive representation of an enterprise. It is significant to both the management of the enterprise, and the actors involved in the development of enterprise’s systems. While the framework is focused the application oriented area of enterprise architecture, it’s scope include non-IT components such as people, processes, and time, making it an appropriate addition to the overall IT Strategy toolkit for CIOs.
Furthermore the Zachman Framework provides a common context for understanding a complex structure. The Framework enables communication among the various participants involved in developing or changing the structure. Architecture is the glue that holds the structure together. The Framework defines sets of architectures that contain the development pieces of the structure.
Check out the article at Wikipedia…