What’s the Difference Between Scope and Partition?
Newcomers to TOGAF sometimes find scoping and partitioning to be rather confusing . This is partly because scope and partition both use similar criteria to create a boundary to what is included in the scope or partition, and what is excluded. The question came up again with an EA team embarking on their first use of TOGAF – so I thought it would be useful to explain the differences between the two.
You might also find it useful to refer to one of our early posters on TOGAF – #9, which covered Architecture Partitioning and Integration. The dimensions used to partition or integrate the architecture are typically the same ones that must be addressed when scoping architectures.
The first point to make is that the architecture of an enterprise is a huge monster to tame, understand or manage! EA is not the same in all companies, but it typically covers the components, their structure, their relationships and their behaviour across all of IT, all business, all management disciplines, and all relevant external factors from areas such as government regulations, partners and suppliers, customers, or the broader environment in general. Even with a very large EA team and unlimited resources it would be impossible (and unnecessary) to deal with the whole architecture at once. So we need to break it down into more manageable chunks.
The second point is that, even though we break EA into smaller units that are easier to manage, each of those sub-divisions remains part of the whole. And because a change to any part of the architecture can have an impact on other components – because a functional architecture operates as a single, complete unit or system – we also need to understand how each subdivision fits into the bigger picture of the enterprise architecture as a whole.
I’ve shown why we need to break the architecture into manageable chunks, and why we need to make sure that each chunk fits into the bigger picture of the whole enterprise architecture.
We need to do this to manage the overall evolution of the enterprise architecture, and to manage a particular architectural project. This is the essential difference between partitioning and scoping.
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