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Master's Thesis Philip Achenbach

Last modified Nov 21, 2014

Framework for the strategic planning of enterprise architectures


Modern enterprises are not only highly interwoven systems, consisting of numerous technical and human components, but are also facing an increasing number of regulatory, technical, and economic changes. In this highly dynamic environment, enterprises are forced to continuously adapt the way they do business, and the kind of business they do. These transformations however need considerable planning efforts to succeed, and hence benefit from an overarching perspective on the enterprise — spanning business and IT. This perspective is taken by enterprise architecture (EA) management to coordinate the transformation efforts and to provide an understanding of the current and the target state. This management function employs models as the foundation for planning activities, and as a means for the documentation of the architectural state.

Existing EA management approaches employ fairly distinct perspectives regarding the enterprise transformation planning. Furthermore, the topic of EA modeling is only partially covered in the present frameworks. This work therefore seeks to establish a unified perspective on enterprise transformation planning and proposes a framework for the strategic planning of the EA. As a foundation for this overall objective, a mapping of different terminologies found in state-of-the-art EA management approaches is contributed. This foundation helps to describe the common concepts and their relationships as requirements for a framework targeting the strategic EA planning. As a further contribution of this work, a planning-framework is presented, structuring the common concepts as to their application in an EA planning endeavor. This framework and the underlying requirements have furthermore been discussed in expert interviews and evaluated in an online survey. Overall, this work provides a foundation for the development of modeling techniques and can act as a basis for a possible tool support of strategic enterprise architecture planning.

Results (Excerpt)

As one of the results of the thesis, requirements for a framework targeting the strategic planning of enterprise architectures have been defined and evaluated. These requirements have been derived from a literature research and multiple expert interviews. The resulting requirements are listed briefly in the following:

The framework must provide a mechanism ...

R1 ... to describe multiple states of the EA. This description of a state must contain all relevant elements, their relationships to each other, and their properties.
R2 ... to designate a state as the current state of the EA. This state reflects the present situation of the enterprise.
R3 ... to designate a state as being the intended future target state of the EA. This state represents the unscheduled long-term vision of the architecture.
R4 ... to designate a planned state as being intended to take effect at a given future point in time. There may be multiple planned states scheduled to be realized at the same time. These planned states guide the EA evolution from the current to the target state.
R5 ... to reschedule a planned state. Therefore, the envisioned point of realization must be adaptable.
R6 ... to revise a state. The result must be represented as a new version of the same state. Each version must be accessible independently.
R7 ... to create a duplicate of (a part of) a state. Each duplicate must be represented as an own state.
R8 ... to consolidate the descriptions of any two states into a new version of one of these states. The framework must support the selection of the state comprising the consolidation.
R9 ... to reject a state. Consequently, it must ensure that rejected states can not be changed anymore.
R10 ... to access any version of a state description for the purpose of analysis.
R11 ... to determine differences between any two versions. Consequently, it must distinguish between new, revised, and rejected elements, relationships, and properties.
R12 ... to mark certain versions as approved. There might be multiple approved versions at the same time.
R13 ... to specify user access rights. Consequently, the mechanism must distinguish between reading and writing access, the duplication of states, their rejection and approval.


These requirements led to a conceptual realization as a framework, whose structure was influenced by the core concepts of a version control system. The structure of the resulting framework is presented in the following figure.



The results are presented in detail in the thesis.

Literature (Excerpt)


[99] GERAM: Generalised Enterprise Architecture Methodology. IFIP–IFAC Task Force on Architectures for Enterprise Integration, Mar. 1999. url: (visited on 09/24/2012).
[Aie+09] Stephan Aier et al. “Complexity Levels of Representing Dynamics in EA Planning.” In: Advances in Enterprise Engineering III. Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop CIAO! 2009 and 5th International Workshop EOMAS 2009. The 5th International Workshop on Cooperation & Interoperability – Architecture & Ontology (CIAO! 2009) in conjunction with the CAiSE’09 conference (Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 8–9, 2009). Ed. by Antonia Albani et al. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP) 34. Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2009, pp. 55– 69. isbn: 978-3-642-01915-9. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-01915-9_5.
[AST10a] David Aveiro, A. Rito Silva, and José Tribolet. “Extending the Design and Engineering Methodology for Organizations with the Generation Operationalization and Discontinuation Organization.” In: Global Perspectives on Design Science Research. 5th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST 2010) (St. Gallen, Switzerland, June 4–5, 2010). Ed. by Robert Winter, J. Leon Zhao, and Stephan Aier. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) 6105. Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2010, pp. 226–241. isbn: 978-3-642-13334-3. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-13335-0_16.
[BBL10] Michael Breu, Ruth Breu, and Sarah Löw. “Living on the MoVE: Towards an Architecture for a Living Models Infrastructure.” In: ICSEA 2010. The Fifth International Conference on Software Engineering Advances. Proceedings. The Fifth International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA) (Nice, France, Aug. 22–27, 2010). Ed. by Jon Hall et al. Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society, Nov. 1, 2010, pp. 290–295. isbn: 978-0-7695-4144-0. doi: 10.1109/ICSEA.2010.51.
[BS11] Sabine Buckl and Christian M. Schweda. On the State-of-the-Art in Enterprise Architecture Management Literature. Technical Report. Munich, Germany: Chair for Software Engineering of Business Information Systems (sebis), Technische Universität München, June 1, 2011.
[Buc11] Sabine Buckl. “Developing Organization-Specific Enterprise Architecture Management Functions Using a Method Base.” Ph.D. thesis. Munich, Germany: Technische Universität München, May 10, 2011. url:
[Han10b] Inge Hanschke. Strategisches Management der IT-Landschaft. Ein praktischer Leitfaden für das Enterprise Architecture Management. German. 2nd ed. München, Germany: Carl Hanser Verlag, July 2010. isbn: 978-3-446-42257-5.
[KH10] Maximilian Kögel and Jonas Helming. “EMFStore: a model repository for EMF models.” In: Proceedings of the 32nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering. ACM/IEEE 32nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (Cape Town, South Africa, May 2–8, 2010). Vol. 2. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2010, pp. 307–308. isbn: 978-1-60558-719-6. doi: 10.1145/1810295.1810364.
[OG09] The Open Group. ArchiMate 1.0 Specification. Reading, United Kingdom: The Open Group, Feb. 2009. url: (visited on 09/24/2012).
[OG11] The Open Group. TOGAF Version 9.1. Reading, United Kingdom: The Open Group, 2011. url: (visited on 09/24/2012).
[Sch11] Christian M. Schweda. “Development of Organization-Specific Enterprise Architecture Modeling Languages Using Building Blocks.” Ph.D. thesis. Munich, Germany: Technische Universität München, July 28, 2011. url:
[Weg03] Alain Wegmann. “On the Systemic Enterprise Architecture Methodology (SEAM).” In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems. Information Systems Analysis and Specification. 5th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2003) (Angers, France, Apr. 23–26, 2003). Vol. 3. EPFL/LAMS & ICEIS, 2003, pp. 483–490.

Files and Subpages

Name Type Size Last Modification Last Editor
diagram-annotated.png 130 KB 11.02.2013
Final Presentation.pdf 617 KB 11.02.2013
Kickoff Presentation.pdf 764 KB 26.11.2012
Thesis-Achenbach.pdf 1,54 MB 28.02.2013