Case Study: Three Types of Gap – Managing the Transition from Current to Target Architectures

TOGAF uses the technique of Gap Analysis to understand differences between the current and target architectures. The technique is used in all four domains – business, data, application and technology (Phases B, C and D) – to identify the components that need to remain, those that need to be replaced or updated, and those that need to be retired. And gap analysis is then used to help develop architecture roadmaps for each of these domains, and to produce a consolidated roadmap across all four domains (in Phase E of the ADM).

Gap Analysis is clearly a key technique for EA, and this case study shows how a European retail organization (also ranked one of the largest retailers in the world) applied the TOGAF technique to three types of gap, to make the transition from current to target architectures more effective.

Here are the three types of gap that they used:

1. Firstly they recognised that there is often a gap between TOGAF certification and using EA technique effectively. Here they used a mentoring program to help their architects bridge the gap between “knowing” TOGAF and the practicalities of actually “architecting” change.

2. The second type of gap was the gap between the views of a particular change to the architectures and the overall direction of the enterprise architecture as a single unit. This is the difference between an iteration of the TOGAF ADM that is focused on a particular request for architectural change, and the iteration of the ADM that is focused on a holistic, enterprise-wide overview of all architectural changes.

3. Finally they focused a lot of effort on producing a more thorough consolidated view of the gaps between the various architecture domains. This was similar to the consolidated view produced by TOGAF in Phase E, but with greater attention to the dependencies and relationships between all architectural components.

You can download the whole case study for free here!

The full case study includes:

  • The gap between TOGAF certification and EA practice
  • The gap between a single request for architecture change an overall EA direction
  • The gap between architecture domain

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Roger has been working as an Enterprise Architect since 1984, and over the years has been in involved in some of the most advanced, innovative and challenging Enterprise Architecture projects. He has extensive experience in applying all of the key EA approaches, including Zachman, TOGAF and Information FrameWork (IFW) and has been involved in establishing and embedding Enterprise Architecture Programmes that delivered strategic business results in organisations all around the world. Roger now works as a trainer, mentor and coach, specialising in developing individual and organisational capability in using Enterprise Architecture techniques and tools.