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TOGAF ADM: Architecture Development Method

11th Sep, 2023
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    TOGAF ADM: Architecture Development Method

    A reliable visual paradigm can make or break the structure of an organization. In today’s world of digital transformation, the TOGAF Architecture Development Method is quickly becoming a critical standard and is a part of the different TOGAF ADM phases. The main objective of the TOGAF model is to help enterprises design an architecture that aligns with their mission, vision statement, and goals. The ADM method is constantly evolving and iterative by nature, which means it is comprehensive and can be used in conjunction with other deliverables from frameworks. 

    TOGAF ADM can help organizations cut costs on project planning, implement architectural changes, and serve as a roadmap toward optimizing various business processes. Just-In-Time TOGAF templates provide actionable insights and consist of actionable work items that organizations process to plan, develop, and design new enterprise architectures.

    Before dwelling into this topic, lets understand what is TOGAF and why it’s important? 

    What is TOGAF ADM?

    TOGAF ADM is a standard originally developed to help enterprises identify every step of various activities and information inputs that are needed to build a complete architecture. It is a universal model and a core component of the TOGAF standard. 

    The TOGAF ADM model is designed to move organizations from the TOGAF Foundation Architecture to architecture specific to the organization, thus satisfying their business requirements. 

    What are the TOGAF ADM Phases?

    The Architecture Development Method Cycle was designed to help enterprises meet their business and technology requirements using the TOGAF ADM architecture. The model denotes a series of continuous improvements and makes a core component of TOGAF ADF. TOGAF ADM works in a circular way which means that upon completing one phase of the architecture, the model moves into subsequent phases. The model supports repeated activities within a single phase. Organizations can undergo TOGAF training to understand the different phases more in-depth. 

    The Architecture Development Method Cycle  

    The TOGAF Architecture Development Method Cycle outlines the different phases required to transition an organization from an enterprise architecture to a TOGAF-specific or a separate architecture. The whole process is iterative by nature and is followed by the preliminary phase, which has various preparation and initiation activities. The ADM method cycle can be modified to meet specific business requirements and is designed to be versatile and adaptive. 

    ADM Input and Output

    TOGAF has several inputs and outputs for each phase to describe the steps in detail. Every change is versioned for every step, and deliverable products have their versioning to indicate how many iterations of change took place.


    Input and output deliverables are not fixed and are simply a guideline for taking projects in the right direction. They are determined on a contractual basis and signed off by stakeholders. These deliverables may be archived periodically or transitioned into an architectural repository for reference models. 

    Initial Stage

    The initial stages involve laying the groundwork for what’s about to come. It outlines preparation and initiation activities to meet business directives and establish capability maturity targets for organizations. The level of detail invested in the different phases of the initial stage will depend on an organization’s goals, purpose, and overall scope of architecture efforts. Following are the key phases included in the initial stage- 

    1. Phase A: Architecture Vision

    Architecture vision begins by designing a plan and setting realistic and tangible goals. All TOGAF phases start with Phase 1, referred to as the Request for Architecture Work. Defining the architecture vision describes the critical activities and constraints that outline the scope. Stakeholder concerns are addressed during this stage, and multiple summary targets are also set. The ultimate goal of this step is to acquire project approvals and ensure everyone is on the same page. If there is no architecture vision, the architecture development cannot proceed for the enterprise. 

    2. Phase B: Business Architecture

    This phase centers around business goals for the organization and all architectural elements revolving around it. It consists of data flows, business strategy planning, enterprise design and process, and more. There are also assessments involved, which help stakeholders understand this phase, which is critical. 

    3. Phase C: Information System Architecture 

    Phase B collects the information required to get to work building the architecture. This phase is about data and applications, emphasizing the technical side of things. There are two components - the data architecture domain and the application architecture domain 

    4. Phase D: Technical Architecture

    The technical architecture phase goes over the following things: 

    • Project viewpoints, tools, and reference models 
    • Launching Baseline Technology Architecture 
    • Performing gap analysis 
    • Stakeholder reviews 
    • Designing suitable Target Technology Architecture 
    • Fixing architecture landscape defects 
    • Creating the Architecture Definition Documentation 
    • Finalizing Technology Architecture

    5. Phase E: Opportunities and Solutions

    Phase E of the initial stages identifies key change parameters, high-level projects, etc. The EA team uses this phase to help enterprises design the proper infrastructure and repeatedly implement the TOGAF ADF cycle without leaving out any of the best elements in the model. 

    6. Phase F: Migration Planning

    Migration planning entails creating processes for a smooth transition to other projects or architectures. TOGAF architecture is designed to be used with enterprise architectures but can also work standalone. 

    7. Stage G: Implement Governance

    Any changes in the TOGAF architecture roadmap are implemented during this phase. Any information about other implementation projects are also taken into account, which helps in minimizing setbacks and maximizing contributions made to these projects. 

    8. Phase H: Structure Change Management

    Structure change management outlines protocols and procedures for managing changes in the structure of architecture for an organization. In simple terms, it manages the requirements for changing from one architecture to the next across the TOGAF ADM lifecycle. 

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    ADM Preliminary Phase

    The ADM Preliminary Phase defines how things are done with the TOGAF architecture, including its principles and constraints. It gets into reusing architectural assets and business principles ground architecture principles. The ADM method is intended to be used by different industries, geographies, and enterprises. Therefore, it lays down the groundwork required for organizations to define any necessary framework and adapt to model to suit client and business requirements, making use of the TOGAF deliverables in the process. 

    1. ADM Phase A: Architecture Vision

    The sponsored organization sends a Request for Architecture Work and scopes decisions to be made based on current resources, feasibility, constraints, and budget. ADM Architecture Vision gives a realistic assessment of what’s possible and not. Key elements of the phase include enterprise mission, vision, goals, strategy, and proposed architecture development planning. 

    2. ADM Phase B: Business Architecture

    Business architecture defines the baseline business architecture and target business architecture. It analyzes gaps between baseline and target models, accounts for strategic drivers, and selects relevant architecture viewpoints to address stakeholder concerns.

    3.  ADM Phase C: Information Systems Architecture

    ADM Phase 3 takes a data-driven approach to architecture development by combining data and application architectures. Some enterprises may follow an application-driven approach to areas such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Getting an ITSM Certification can also strengthen an organization’s technology posture. 

    4.  ADM Phase D: Technology Architecture

    This phase identifies candidate technology architecture components after analyzing gaps between baseline and technology architecture models. It also involves creating catalogs and seeing how new standards are implemented. Environment and location diagrams, process flows, networked computing/hardware, and communications diagrams are also considered.

    5. ADM Phase E: Opportunities & Solutions

    Phase E identifies business opportunities, change parameters, and other variables that help organizations move from current architecture to the target architecture. The main elements involved are user interfaces, access to data, and connectivity options. The key objective of Phase E is to hit short-term targets so that long-term project milestones can be met later. Inputs to Phase E are reusable architecture building blocks, target applications architecture, statement of architecture work, target data architecture, target business architecture, etc. 

    6. ADM Phase F: Migration Planning

    Migration planning designs architecture implementation strategies and discusses the various challenges, roadmaps, and components that work together to migrate resources from baseline architecture to target architecture. A business value is assigned to work packages, and several other issues such as return-on-investment and performance evaluation criteria are also discussed. 

    7. ADM Phase G: Implementation Governance

    Appropriate governance processes are drafted to capture the lessons learned during the implementation phase. This phase also documents the architectural capabilities of the enterprise, additional details involved in migrating architecture to a newer level, and iterating multiple ADM cycles from a lower level. 

    8. ADM Phase H: Architecture Change Management

    This phase aims to develop processes that help support the implemented ADM architecture in dynamic ways. Change management is about managing those changes or continuous improvements in the newer model, ensuring they align with business goals and environments. Change requests may warrant additional updates or start a new cycle in the Architecture Development Method (ADM). 

    ADM Architecture Requirements Management

    ADM Architecture Requirements Management defines the baselines for managing changes and is a completely dynamic process. The KnowledgeHut’s TOGAF training is designed to walk professionals through the various stages of architecture requirements management. 


    A complete understanding of the TOGAF ADM will help an organization develop its vision and provide the best solutions for meeting all business milestones. The TOGAF ADM is designed to accelerate digital transformation for companies, target different clients, and evolve into an adaptive management framework that works hassle-free. 

    For next step, check out this article the significance of TOGAF in enterprise architecture

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is the purpose of ADM?

    The TOGAF ADM is simply a reliable and proven guide used for developing IT infrastructures that meet a growing organization's business and technological requirements. 

    2What document is used to initiate a TOGAF ADM cycle?

    The Request for Architecture Work is the primary document to initiate a TOGAF ADM cycle. 

    3How long is TOGAF certification valid?

    The TOGAF 9 Certification has no expiry date nor needs any renewal. The TOGAF 7 and 8 certifications are valid for up to 24 months. 

    4What four domains does TOGAF deal with?

    The four key domains TOGAF deals with are business, data, application, and technology. 

    5What are the five main focus areas of ADM?

    The five main focus areas of ADM are: 

    • Splitting service categories and managing them 
    • Aligning organizations with a retainable business strategy 
    • Adopting process excellence 
    • Establishing end-to-end Service Level Agreements (SLAs) 
    • Use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and dashboards 

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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