Most common pitfalls in TOGAF

Henrik von Scheel blog post entitled Avoid the most common pitfalls in failed TOGAF 9.1 projects.

Research abstract by: Neil Kemp, Mark von Rosing, Arjan Visser and Henrik von Scheel.

Let me state first: I am a TOGAF 9.1 practitioner and huge fan. TOGAF is without a doubt a very useful and powerful methodology. Meanwhile, I see an alarming growing tendency to except something from TOGAF 9.1 or trying to apply it in way without being aware of its limitations, hence the increasing amount of TOGAF 9.1 disappointment and project failures.

This article is intend to help practitioner to avoid the most common TOGAF 9.1 pitfalls and project failure, by elaborate on some of the key 24 limitations of TOGAF, as a domain centric approach. The following is an evolving set of limitations inherent in TOGAF 9.1. They are not necessarily reasons not to use TOGAF, but one should be well aware of them if you do.

TOGAF 9.1 limitations:

1. TOGAF is inconsistent within itself and is therefore not able to lead to a business which is consistent.

2. TOGAF is domain oriented, leading to loss of integration across the enterprise design and lacks the tools to demonstrate how the components of the business connect to the strategy to be executed.

3. TOGAF does not make the distinction between components, which are part of its framework, or those which are part of its method. The result is a loss of maturity, which is critical to success of organization in the early stages to adopting EA methods.

4. TOGAF is IT centric. It therefore miss specifies the problem, which is about optimizing the enterprise’s ability to deliver value and control costs in the execution of its strategy and not simply about the applications and processes that execute work.

5. TOGAF does not separate concerns between those that are related to analysis (decomposition) and those that are related to design (composition) resulting in a loss of traceability, within the work and increased expenditure of time and effort.

6. The TOGAF wheel discourages systems thinking needed to holistically address issues related to the total enterprise.

7. TOGAF modelling principles focus on narrow aspects of architecture practice rather than providing guidance to be used for innovation and transformation of the complete enterprise.

8. TOGAF does not demonstrate how the components of the business connect to the strategy to be executed, creating gaps between the strategy and the business model, revenue mode, service model, cost model and so on.

9. TOGAF lacks a coherent method for considering processes and process life cycles, thereby leading to processes being captured out of context, and in an inconsistent, and non-repeatable manner which lacks the tools to either ensure the completeness of processes or to eliminate processes which do not contribute value.

10. TOGAF lacks specifics on platform architecture or infrastructure architecture, leading to a lack of integration both between and across key aspects of application architecture, date architecture, Information Architecture and the specific technology architecture of platform and infrastructure architecture.

11. TOGAF treats service architecture as an isolated phenomena rather than an insight and design that can be applied consistently across the enterprise. Due to this lack key opportunities for improved ability to operate may be overlooked.

12. TOGAF sees the phasing for the development of architecture as being domain based, leading to fragmentation within the analysis and design.

13. TOGAF Change management is not enterprise centric but project centric.

14. TOGAF does not recognize the role of maturity in process, capability or competency and provides no linkage between maturity and organizational factors, limiting is ability to support transformation and innovation of the enterprise.

15. TOGAF governance focuses on the project/cycle perspective, ignoring the broader organizational concerns, hindering the ability for the organization to both mature and optimize itself.

16. TOGAF is lacking the design elements needed for continuous improvement.

17. While TOGAF provides a model for capturing motivation, it is not linked to tools to express the performance measurement aspects of the enterprise, creating gaps in understanding the influence of the area of an enterprises ability to execute.

18. TOGAF does not capture the full scope of business; i.e. value identification, value creation, and value realization, or service delivery; to create an integrated view of this aspect of the enterprise

19. TOGAF does not come with performance measures to demonstrate the business value of enterprise architecture, leaving it up to the each enterprise to reinvent itself and each practitioner to make the case for the value of EA.

20. TOGAF provides no guidance to practitioners on how to think about EA, work with EA concepts, and or tools to represent the results of analysis and design. This lack leads to chaos in its application as practitioners are each required to go through the costly and time consuming process of reinventing the necessary methods, practices and tools.

21. Industry specific patterns cannot be applied to the common TOGAF framework to provide reusable, connectable insight into best practices.

22. TOGAF requires tailoring without providing the tools to ensure the integration of the resulting frameworks, methods, and approaches This limits the ability for the results to be adopted, shared, and used

23. TOGAF does not separate conceptual, logical, and physical views across the viewpoints, leading both to confused thinking and to a requirement to significantly rework architecture descriptions when there are minor changes in the actual enterprise.

24. TOGAF does not treat the enterprise as a system and then use the thinking from this insight as the context for decomposition. This leads to sub optimization of components of the enterprise at the expense of its ability to deliver value and control cost

TOGAF is not based on open standard, but created solely by a closed community comprising only the paying TOGAF platinum members.

TOGAF does not recognize the relationship between business, which is where execution occurs; and applications, which is where execution is enabled, nor does it provide tools to understand how problems in business space can be addressed by a variety of solutions types in the application layer

TOGAF does not recognize that multiple type of enablers are available to strengthen business and therefore may effect business design. Concentrating on IT, TOGAF ignores how other capabilities may enable the business to act.

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