Response to the Capgemini CTO Blog article on the release of TOGAF 9

About five weeks ago, on the 3rd of February (2008), I celebrated the launch of the Open Group’s TOGAF version 9, with a short review of the new Enterprise Architecture (EA) Framework standard.

My article was kindly picked up across the web, notably by the Open Group themselves and by the excellent Capgemini CTO blog in their article “TOGAF 9: A Sunny Day in San Diego“.

Afraid to say I couldn’t help responding to the author of the article, Ron Tolido (VP and CTO Continental Europe and Asia Pacific at Capgemini and Director at the Open Group), by adding a comment to it.

Being so busy I didn’t give it much thought after that, however last night, whilst at the inaugural meeting of the BCS Enterprise Architecture (EA) Speciality Group (SG) I met up with Matt Armstrong-Barnes, Chief Architect for the NHS Data SPINE Programme at BT, and a peer Chartered Fellow of the BCS (FBCS CITP), whom I haven’t seen since we worked together at HMRC.

Speaking with Matt we covered the release of TOGAF 9 and the article I’d written. He hadn’t seen the response I’d left at the Capgemini CTO Blog and guessing that you probably haven’t seen it either and, as it contain some further insight into my opinions on the latest release of TOGAF, I thought I’d repost it here too:

Hi Ron,

Many thanks for the mention; very kind of you.

When I last worked with Capgemini using the IAF I remember it being very much Zachman influenced, dare I say derived, in fact I recall the main overview diagram was extremely similar to the classic Zachman ‘framework’ diagram (a layered approach incorporating the six serving men model).

It’s a good job you guys have donated so much of your time and experience to the TOGAF standard, because frankly the Content Framework (or lack thereof) was the most obvious gap in the TOGAF portfolio. However I look forward to that particular area maturing because it is still only the first iteration. I believe that weaknesses in that particular area are the no.1 reason that Enterprises are still having to adopt more than one EA Framework to achieve a realistic EA.

There is one major gap still in TOGAF of course, but it shares this particular issue with all the major EA frameworks. And that is if only TOGAF could teach one how to architect then we might be getting somewhere!

Then we get down to the ‘minor’ practical areas that still need to be addressed, i.e. addressing ‘Ivory Tower’ syndrome, maintaining programme sponsorship and support, delivering an inclusive EA Governance structure that includes vendors and partners, rotation of EA staff into delivery programmes to maintain estate awareness, maintaining programme relevancy during the current economic downturn (when the Enterprise will be forced to focus on tactical issues), compartmentalising EA delivery into individual ‘steps’ which deliver incremental tactical advantage, getting the EA team to deliver value quickly, avoiding excessive focus on EA tools when the focus needs to be on defining a shareable and readily communicable EA, approaches to delivering an agile EA and derived estate which can readily adopt and react to industry and other outside pressures (such as radical innovation and ‘disruptive’ technology, changes in legislation, the effect of acquisitions and mergers, or new business stream and extreme business change). I would go on, but I’m sure you can think of many more yourselves.

Great post by the way, I enjoyed it a lot and agree wholeheartedly with much that you’ve captured here, especially around standardisation and having a common language across the EA community.

All the best,


Since writing this a number of people have added comments, some of them quite informative, and this and the Capgemini CTO blog article itself are well worth five minutes investment if you’re interested in EA or TOGAF: