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A Quick Guide to TOGAF Architecture for Beginners

11th Sep, 2023
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    A Quick Guide to TOGAF Architecture for Beginners

    TOGAF is an open group architecture framework for enterprises deployed by more than 60% of Fortune 500 companies worldwide.  The Open Group reports that the model has been used by 80% of Global 50 companies. Any architecture framework features a set of tools that are used for developing a broad range of designs and describes methods for building information systems from scratch. An enterprise invested in accelerating digital transformation will have to rely on tools and best practices to shift from traditional IT architecture to one that’s organization-specific, scalable, and meets its business requirements. The TOGAF model is designed to be adaptive, versatile, and fits various industry use-case scenarios.  

    Get a deeper understanding of what is TOGAF? and why it’s so important? 

    What is TOGAF Architecture?

    TOGAF Architecture is a framework that helps organizations create business goals and establish an architecture-specific design while ensuring it aligns with those goals. It is an architectural methodology that adopts a systemic approach to reducing errors, keeping timelines, and growing according to stipulated budgets. The TOGAF method was developed in 1995 by The Open Group, and it is free to use for organizations who want it for personal reasons. It is not free for commercial purposes, and over 71 accredited TOGAF courses are available worldwide, along with eight certified tools. 

    According to the Open Group, the tenth edition of TOGAF architecture is slated to assist organizations in operating more efficiently, provide simpler navigation, and flawless guidance in implementing the TOGAF framework to suit their business use cases. 

    The Components of TOGAF Architecture 

    The core TOGAF components are: 

    • Reference models 
    • Enterprise Continuum 
    • Architecture Content Framework 
    • Architecture Capability Framework 
    • ADM Guidelines and techniques 
    • Architecture Development Method (ADM) 

    TOGAF – a Standard Framework for Continuous Architecture Development

    TOGAF training and certification programs are designed to introduce professionals to the standard framework for continuous architecture development. Here is what you need to know.  

    What Do Its Elements Represent?

    TOGAF elements represent methods and tools for implementing frameworks for organizations, performing production and maintenance, and accepting changes done on process models. Many IT service management courses go into the basics of these elements as part of the TOGAF learning process. 

    When Would You Use TOGAF?

    TOGAF is used when an organization hasn’t decided on its project requirements, scope, and needs, to identify these requirements to help organize various processes. 

    What Are Enterprise Architecture Principles?

    The general principles of TOGAF architecture design are: 

    • The architecture is limited to services that only the organization specifies. 
    • Architecture may use one or multiple services and even parts of a service. 
    • Formal IT governance implementations are recommended for the architecture to follow. 
    • All elements of the architecture should be reused in alignment with all categories of the Enterprise Continuum and not left out. 

    One of the prerequisites of using the TOGAF ADM is designing it to meet organizational requirements and modify it accordingly. One of the primary tasks is to review the ADM and make sure it connects with other processes such as business strategy, development planning, budget, requirements, project management, and procurement. Generic architecture is referred to as Product Line Architecture and is analogous.  

    How Many Architecture Principles Does an Enterprise Need?  

    An enterprise only needs four of the major TOGAF domains. There are 21 principles out there, and not all are required. 

    What is a TOGAF Architecture Roadmap? 

    A TOGAF Architecture roadmap is a set of architectural elements and building processes that help an organization eventually shift from its current architecture to its target architecture. It implements changes on an incremental basis, and the architecture building blocks come with sufficient documentation. Roadmaps may be synchronized with major project plans, and their role is to produce results while ascertaining the level of detail needed to achieve them during the planning stages. 

    What is the TOGAF Architecture Development Method?

    The TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) is a part of the TOGAF model and works in conjunction with the TOGAF Foundation Architecture. TOGAF ADM describes the process of transitioning from a TOGAF-specific architecture to one that is organization-specific and suits changing business requirements. Different building blocks, architectural components, and models are used, all of which relate to various domains of the TOGAF architecture. The ADM method is an iterative process, and its primary focus is to make architectural components ready for reuse and populate the company’s Enterprise Continuum

    The initial execution of ADM is the hardest, and organizations find that once they identify assets and structure processes, the model becomes readily available for implementation, application, and reuse. You can learn more about the KnowledgeHut TOGAF training and certification to get additional insights. 

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    The Stages of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (TOGAF ADM)

    Following are the stages of the TOGAF ADM framework: 

    1. Preliminary Phase

    The preliminary phase is used to identify business requirements, growth drivers, and key principles. The goal is to get a clear vision of what the company is aiming for and design architecture around that. It is the blueprint or the very foundation, and this phase is also used for selecting the best tools, architectural processes, API integrations, and more. 

    2. Architecture Vision

    Architecture vision elaborates on the proposed enterprise architecture plan. This phase discusses initiation activities, business readiness, risks, and mitigation methods. Large and complex organizations can reduce the complexity of their operational processes and talk about relevant changes during this phase. Check more about the significance of TOGAF In enterprise architecture

    3. Business Architecture

    Business architecture designs the architecture for enterprises on three levels - business, information systems, and technology. This phase develops the baseline for new architecture and selects architecture viewpoints for the stakeholder to review. It also defines the target architecture and analyzes gaps between baseline and target. Other non-functional criteria are looked into, and a detailed gap analysis report is drafted. Also,

    4. Information Systems Architecture

    Information Systems Architecture is divided into data and applications architecture. Data architecture defines data types and sources, while applications architecture lists all processes required for providing the data and supporting businesses. Some of the key inputs to this phase are the Enterprise Continuum, Architecture Vision, Data Principles, Request for Architecture Work, Gap Analysis Results, and relevant technical requirements. Other outputs are baseline applications architecture, statement of architecture work, data architecture report, impact analysis, and updated business requirements. 

    5. Technology Architecture

    The technology architecture phase lays the groundwork for implementing work and sets the standard for baseline technology architecture. It considers different architecture models, viewpoints, and reference tools and makes the services portfolio for architectural building blocks. Key outputs of this phase are Target Technology Architecture Vision, validation of technology principles, Statement of Architecture Work (updated), gap analysis report, and all viewpoints that address main stakeholder concerns. 

    6. Opportunities and Solutions

    This phase identifies the key business drivers, brainstorms technical requirements, work pages and solutions, and any other gap analysis. It identifies strategic parameters for change and assesses the costs and benefits of building upcoming projects. It also analyzes building versus buying and reusing solutions for business purposes. Key inputs of the phase are Request for Architecture Work, Statement of Architecture Work, Target Data Architecture, Reusable Architecture, and Product Information. At the same time, outputs are the implementation and migration strategy, impact analysis documentation and high-level implementation planning. 

    7. Migration Planning

    Migration planning assigns priority levels to projects and sorts them in the most appropriate order. It estimates resource requirements, performs cost-benefit analysis, and risk assessments, and produces proposed implementation roadmaps. 

    8. Implementation Governance

    This phase involves all the rules and regulations that govern implementing new frameworks. It formulates recommendations and constructs architecture contracts. It also performs all the appropriate governance functions and ensures conformance. Key outputs are the architecture-compliant implemented system and impact analysis report.  

    9. Architecture Change Management

    This stage establishes architectural changes to the management process, provides continuous monitoring, and decides whether or not a new architecture cycle should be implemented.  It also monitors technology changes and arranges for meetings with the Architecture Board. The two key inputs to this phase are the Requests for Architecture Change due to technology changes, Requests for Architecture change due to business changes, and primary outputs are New Request for Architecture Work, changes to Architecture framework and principles, and architecture updates. 

    10. Requirements Management

    The objective of the requirements management phase is to list business architecture requirements for the entire ADM lifecycle. It identifies enterprise requirements, identifies necessary documentation, sets baselines, and reviews gap analysis results. It can add, modify, or remove these requirements based on the organization's priorities and update the requirements repository. All the outputs for each ADM phase are used as key inputs for the Requirements management phase. Outputs are changed requirements and impact statements and include the final version of the full implications of all project requirements. 


    Now that you have a clear idea of the TOGAF ADM phases, you can adapt the model to suit your enterprise requirements. TOGAF is constantly evolving and forms a core foundation for designing enterprise architectures. The framework features detailed planning methods, development, and maintenance and includes several components of the TOGAF architecture lifecycle. The ADM simply incorporates multiple elements and documents and creates a structure for the organization that satisfies its technology and business needs. 

     You might also find it interesting to read about is enterprise architecture relevant to agile article. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What kind of architecture does TOGAF deal with? 

    TOGAF deals with different types of architecture, such as business architecture, data/information architecture, application (systems) architecture, and information technology (IT) architecture. 

    2What are the four architectural domains in TOGAF?

    The four architectural domains in TOGAF are data, business, application, and technical. 

    3What is TOGAF 9 certified?

    The TOGAF 9 Certification is accredited training that gives validation of a candidate’s skills in TOGAF terminology, tools, and architectural concepts. It proves they have a solid understanding of the TOGAF standard, Enterprise Architecture principles, and complete comprehension of the TOGAF 9 Foundation. 

    4Which phase of Togaf is dedicated to implementation governance?

    Phase ‘G’ of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) is dedicated to implementation governance. 

    5What is TOGAF ADM?

    The TOGAF ADM is a method that describes a process for transitioning an enterprise from a TOGAF-specific architecture to one that is organization-specific. The model can be customized to suit various business requirements and uses elements of the TOGAF Foundation Architecture and other architectural components.


    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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