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Architecture Repository

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Architecture Repository

  1. 1. Architecture Repository White Paper #3 22 January, 2003 Background As successful business organisations struggle to manage an ever increasing flow of information, the need to implement an effective Information Management (IM) system is vital. IM describes the means by which an organisation comprehensively plans, collects, organises, uses, controls, disseminates and disposes of its information. The value of that information is subsequently identified and exploited to the fullest extent. However, due to the varied nature of the information, the discrepancies in diverse technologies and multidisciplinary areas, and due to organisational or operational constraints, these data sources do not generally lend themselves to being easily replicated or consolidated. IM Governance IM Oversight Architecture Repository (IM Delivery Information Warehouse) Requirement Enterprise Project Delivery Management Architecture Management IM Life Cycle Engineer Manage i IM Delivery Tool Environment (Systems of Record) Figure 1: Supporting IM Management The demand for companies to integrate their IM systems and evolve their knowledge management capabilities has resulted in the need for a single point of access to an amalgamated view of the IM/IT environment. The implementation of an effective IM system provides an organisation with the ability to: • Manage rapid escalation in operations and maintenance costs; • Assess the impact of business and operational requirement changes; • Assess the impact of IT changes to both the IM environment and the general operation of the organisation; COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD.
  2. 2. • Audit the IM environment for quality, redundancy and security; • Validate and verify the delivery of IM deliverables; • Track user requirements through IM component delivery; and • Track dependencies between IM projects, systems and components. Historically, the Information Technology (IT) community has paid lip service to integral concepts such as Quality Assurance (QA) and Capability Maturity. Each of these frameworks, aimed at improving software quality, places paramount importance on the effective management of information so that development activities and decisions can be consistently planned, implemented and maintained. The software Capability Maturity Model (CMM) provides guidance on how to improve the development process by creating a framework for generating information. This information can subsequently be reviewed and audited under a QA program, shared across multidisciplinary teams, reused during system operation and maintenance, and used as part of an IM support system that includes impact assessments and security checks. Standards set by ISO 9001/TickIT provide a baseline for auditing these processes. Alarmingly, according to a majority of industry studies a significant proportion of the IM community is not efficiently addressing these fundamental IM requirements. Many of the challenges surrounding the implementation of an effective IM system could be addressed if the information and experience of the software developers could be harnessed and mined by the IM staff. The Software Engineering Institute and the ISO standard both dictate that the first step is to involve the establishment in a process that ensures the capture, management and maintenance of core information in a format that can be used and optimized by auditors, management and maintenance personnel. IM Architecture The primary challenge in developing an IM architecture is that an individual’s role in an organisation will have a direct impact on what they believe the architecture is and its relative importance. The architecture is the only vehicle that can provide a consolidated view of the IM environment. Without an IM architecture, the challenges and issues imposed by ever increasing complexity and integration cannot begin to be addressed. COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD. 2
  3. 3. Operational Strategic & Tactical Requirements Technology Drivers Drivers STRATEGIC PLANNING Operational Application Information Workflow Architecture Architecture Security Architecture Technology Architecture Figure 2: IM Architecture Figure 2 illustrates a number of views that must be considered in order to create an IM architecture. These include: • Work Flow/Business Procedures; • Application Architecture; • Information Architecture; • Technology Architecture; • Security Architecture; • IM Systems; and • Corporate Information Assets. ASMG does not promote a particular architectural framework for our clients, as we prefer to work with one that has been pre-selected by a client’s organisation. In recent years, our clients have adopted several of these frameworks, with the most popular being those created by Zachman and Meta-Group. The illustrated version allows for the majority of architectural frameworks to be mapped easily to these views. However, regardless of the preferred view, the underlying data must be consistent. The Architecture Repository The architecture repository, as illustrated in Figure 3, provides a single point of access to corporate IM information and allows users to query the repository and acquire information that spans architectural, life cycle and tool views. COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD. 3
  4. 4. Records & Document Management Project Management Requirement Management Tool Test Management/ Test Execution Metadata Repository (MDR) Architecture Modeling Tools Repository Network Modeling Tools Test Generation Tools Application Mining Network Management Computer Assisted Engineering Figure 3: The Architecture Repository Information in the repository is captured and integrated from multiple sources, including requirements management, project management, network management and computer assisted engineering. It provides the ability to capture, maintain and report links and relationships between architectural views, and between IM elements, components and objects. The architecture repository allows for direct navigation between architectural components and the tools used to define, design, implement and document them. It also supplies the tools required to enable an audit of the IM environment and subsequently, the repository acts as a decision support tool for senior IM managers, CIOs and CTOs. COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD. 4
  5. 5. Business Requirements IM Program Plan / Strategic Plan Enterprise Architecture IM Requirements / Standards Divisions / Departments Project 1 Project N Statement of Work X-Organizational Requirements Statement of Work Statement of Requirements Statement of Requirements Test Test Specification System X-Project Requirements Specification System Specification Specification Test Test Test Test Test Test Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Component Component Component Component Component Component Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Test Test Test Test Test Test Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Design Design Design Design Design Design Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Specification Implementation Implementation (Technical data & Documentation) (Technical data & Documentation) Figure 4: Tracking Requirements The architecture repository is used to capture and maintain corporate knowledge about IM components and elements as well as their respective relationships and dependencies. It is designed to provide direct traceability from strategic business requirements through to the delivery of a specific Information Management capability, as illustrated in Figure 4. By integrating tools and information systems used to develop corporate IM systems into the architecture repository, the system life cycle is also integrated. This assures the quality and consistency of all IM elements and system components and links system development back to the enterprise architecture. This level of integration provides management with a consolidated view, which allows them to assess the impact and cost of change on the enterprise and any information security implications that may arise as a result of the change. The progress of the IM deployment at an enterprise level can also be audited. Development Tools vs Architecture Repository While existing tools such as requirement management and tracking, and modelling and test execution focus on specific project level and development activities, the architecture repository focuses on the enterprise as COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD. 5
  6. 6. a whole and its management, support and maintenance functions. It amalgamates information from multiple IM delivery tools and technologies and provides a single point of access portal to information. The architecture repository is not intended to replace development tools, but rather to augment their capabilities and provide a composite view of their information. Consistent with data warehouse concepts, the repository holds replicated data, while the systems of record for the information remain with the source tools. This allows the architecture repository to utilise the capabilities of existing tools, thus allowing organisations to leverage their existing investments. Implementing an Architecture Repository Repository vendors promote their tools as mechanisms for solving the information challenges faces by IM organisations. When used properly, each of these tools does a reasonable job in its own domain and can provide significant value. However, none of these tools address the issues surrounding integration and management that need to be considered in order to provide the organisation with a composite view. There is one crucial mistake made by the majority of repository vendors. They fail to consider that the majority of organisations do not have the data or information required to populate an architecture repository. Rather than adopting a one solution fits all attitude, a more reasonable approach would include the following steps: • Identifying the capabilities required by the user. • Developing a concept of operations. • Identifying the information necessary to support predefined requirements. • Determining the availability of the required information by IM system or component. • Identifying the source of the information. • Developing a strategy to gather information that is not readily available. • Specifying and prioritizing requirements. • Reviewing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products. • Reviewing buy/build options. • Developing an architecture and deployment strategy. • Determining costs and developing a schedule in order to implement an architecture repository. • Using an evolutionary implementation based on prioritised requirements and concept of operations. COPYRIGHT 2003 ADVANCED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD. 6