EA-POL-001 – Enterprise Architecture Policy

Purpose

This Enterprise Architecture Policy establishes the programme of Enterprise Architecture at Plymouth University which will maximise the business benefits from investing effectively in Information Technology (IT), improve efficiency and reduce waste caused by uncoordinated planning and development.

This policy will:

  • Create and underpin the governance of Enterprise Architecture Programme;
  • Set out how IT investments are measured in terms of compliance with the enterprise architecture;
  • Establishes a trajectory for how enterprise architecture will be developed and maintained over time.

When fully established Enterprise Architecture will:

  • Be the driving force behind alignment between the University’s Information Technology Management portfolio and current and future business processes, strategic planning and capital investment programmes.
  • Enable and enhance information system management, development and practices to provide the University a holistic view on its information, technology and other resource assets.
  • Promote investment in both stability and change to deliver our goals for value in a transparent manner, managed over the investment lifecycle.

Audience

This policy applies to all members and partners of Plymouth University or others authorised to work or conduct business on behalf of the University.

Policy

Governance

The sole authoritative enterprise architecture for Plymouth University is owned and issued by the Enterprise Architect (EA) on behalf of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and IT Management Group (ITMG).

The enterprise architecture provides a model of the inter-relationships between the University’s strategic direction, organizational programs and projects, lines of business, information technology portfolio (i.e., process, data, applications, and technologies) and security measures. The enterprise architecture is maintained to provide support for the University’s strategic planning, budgeting, IT capital planning, IT acquisition and security planning processes.

The EA on behalf of the CIO ensures that System Life Cycle policies and procedures, and all other policies or procedures that support or implement aspects of enterprise architecture, are aligned and consistent with this policy and its related procedures, technical standards and guidelines.

The ITMG, on behalf of the CIO governs the Enterprise Architecture Programme under this Policy and the EA under the authority of the ITMG issues its related procedures technical standards, guidelines and other documentation after coordination through the Enterprise Architecture Board (EAB), in accordance with this groups established procedures.

Compliance with this policy, and its associated procedures and technical standards is mandatory. However, exceptions or waivers from the policy, procedures, and/or technical standards shall be addressed to the EA through the established enterprise architecture procedures. The procedures will include the right to appeal an EA decision to the board; the EA Board reports to and represents the CIO (as per EA Board Terms of Reference).

Any unauthorised deviation from this or any pursuant policies and supporting procedures will result in the issuance of a cease and desist notice from the ITMG.  Failure to comply with this notice within 28 days will result in disciplinary action being taken against the individuals concerned.

EA Governance Structure

Plymouth University Enterprise Architecture Governance Framework Schematic


Enterprise Architecture Development and Approval

The enterprise architecture shall include a baseline architecture that describes the current state of the University’s enterprise architecture and a target architecture that describes its desired future state (see Definitions).

Information security shall be a primary consideration in the development and implementation of the enterprise architecture.

The enterprise architecture and any component architectures (see Definitions) shall be developed using a common framework and methodology University wide.  This framework will be based on The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF).

The EAB has final approval of the enterprise architecture and its sub component architectures.

Enterprise Architecture Maintenance

The enterprise architecture shall be maintained and periodically updated to ensure alignment with the University’s business functions, information assets, IT capital investments and the University’s strategic plans.

The enterprise architecture shall be maintained under version and configuration control within the University’s Enterprise Architecture repository and tool set.

All versions of the enterprise architecture and supporting component architectures shall be recorded within, the University’s Enterprise Architecture repository and toolset.

IT Investment Compliance

All Plymouth University information management and technology development, modernisation, enhancement, and acquisitions shall conform to the enterprise architecture and comply with applicable Capital Planning and University budgeting processes.

All information management and technology development, modernisation, enhancement, and acquisitions shall develop a solution architecture (see Definitions) documenting the alignment of the proposed project with the enterprise architecture.

Solution Architectures shall be certified as architecturally compliant prior to project development unless the appropriate waiver is obtained.

All IT systems, applications, data, and metadata shall be recorded within an authoritative inventory as specified by procedures or standards published pursuant to this Policy.

The Architecture Repository

The Architecture Repository

The Architecture Repository

Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Information Officer (CIO): The CIO is ultimately responsible for the Enterprise Architecture Programme, providing strategic direction, and enforcing its requirements. The CIO establishes, maintains, and approves the enterprise architecture and may supplement this Policy by approving procedures, technical standards, and guidelines via the Enterprise Architect.

IT Magagement Group (ITMG): On behalf of the CIO, the ITMG is responsible for the execution of Enterprise Architecture Programme and conveys strategic direction and enforces its requirements.  The ITMG, may, on behalf of the CIO establish, maintain and approve the enterprise architecture and supplement this policy by approving procedures, technical standards and guidelines via the Enterprise Architect.

Enterprise Architect (EA): The EA is responsible for providing direction to the enterprise architecture development and maintenance. The EA is also responsible for certifying that Solution Architectures developed for information management and technology development, modernisation, and enhancements, are compliant with the enterprise architecture standards and guidelines on behalf of the CIO.

Enterprise Architecture Board (EAB): The EAB directs and reviews major architectural decisions.  Owns the architectural risk register and protect the University from unacceptable institutional risk.  Fosters awareness of architectural concepts, standards and structures.  Co-ordinates, reviews and approves new and updated IT architecture and designs on behalf of the CIO.  Maintains, reviews and approves architectural principles and standards.  Provides direction for the Enterprise Architecture Practice as a whole.

Enterprise Architecture Board Design Authority (EABDA): The primary role of the EABDA is to assist the EAB in the development of the IT/Information Management (IM) and related policy agenda. This agenda will serve as the “roadmap” for policy topics to be addressed by the EAB. Additionally, the EABDA is charged with resolving issues that do not warrant the EAB’s attention or that are specifically delegated to the EABDA (such as establishment of procedural or guidance documents in support of a given policy). It also includes support of EAB activities and implementation of EAB decisions. The EABDA is comprised of a subset of EAB and other representatives across the organisation.

Definitions

Architecture: The structure of components, their interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution overtime.

Baseline Architecture: The set of products that portrays the existing enterprise, the current business practices, and technical infrastructure. Commonly referred to as the “as-is” architecture.

Component Architecture: Component Architecture is an architectural subdivision established to facilitate the development and maintenance of specialized areas of the Enterprise Architecture, such as those related to a particular business function or technical capability. All Component architectures must be consistent and upwardly compatible with the Plymouth University Enterprise Architecture.

Enterprise: The desire and readiness to embrace uncertainty and the risk of the unknown; to think and act differently and boldly when facing problematic situations; to show initiative and resourcefulness, desire and determination. And;

The network of entities and interconnecting relationships, which form the University’s extended organisation: students, staff, suppliers, the wider community, city, regional, national and international partners.

Enterprise Architecture: Embeds a way of thinking and working, in conjunction with an associated toolkit of techniques, focused on interweaving business and IT together, improving structural performance and delivering on commitments to stakeholders.

Successful EA influences both investments in change and decisions relating to how best to gain advantage from existing architecture.

Information Technology: Applied computer systems, both hardware and software, and often including networking and telecommunications, usually in the context of a business or other enterprise. This often refers to the name of the part of the enterprise that deals with all things electronic.

Repositories and Tools: A collection of databases, architectural and modelling tools, and other electronic support for developing, modelling, managing, analysing, and publishing the Enterprise Architecture baseline architecture, target architecture, and sequencing plan. Collectively, the Enterprise Architecture repositories and tools comprise the strategic information asset base of the Enterprise Architecture.

Sequencing Plan: A document that defines the strategy for changing the enterprise from the current baseline to the target architecture. It schedules multiple, concurrent, interdependent activities and incremental builds that will evolve the enterprise.

Solution Architecture: Solution Architecture describes how an individual information management system or information acquisition will comply with the requirements of the Target Architecture.

Target Architecture: The set of products that portray the future or end-state enterprise, generally captured in the organisations strategic thinking and plans. Commonly referred to as the “to-be” architecture.