Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi

Thesis Title: Development of a Set of Enterprise Architecture Process Patterns                  


As a discipline, Enterprise Architecture strives to resolve the thorny problem of Business-IT alignment by using a holistic, systematic approach to information systems definition, implementation and management. In recent years, the discipline has assumed an even more holistic approach, trying to 'engineer' entire enterprises. To help enterprise architects in their practice, a plethora of enterprise architecture frameworks and methodologies have been introduced in the last three decades; however, their evaluation and selection remains a tedious and confusing undertaking. Furthermore, few of these methodologies offer guidance as to how they should be customized for specific situations. Extracting 'common concepts' from seemingly different methodologies seems a promising solution to this problem, since these can provide a common ground for engineering bespoke methods for enterprise architecture.
This is where Situational Method Engineering (SME) approaches come in; SME approaches typically strive to propose and use a general method framework, mainly composed of common process patterns and relevant guidelines for applying them. Process patterns have been successfully used in software engineering since the 90s; these patterns describe proven practices of software development, which are approaches and/or series of actions that are useful in known situations. In SME, they are typically used as 'method chunks' to assemble situational methods: methods that are tailored to fit the specific characteristics of the project situation at hand. The same notion can be equally useful in the context of enterprise architecture engineering. A coherent set of process patterns, covering the entire life cycle of software/enterprise engineering, comprise a generic process framework, which can be used as a template for instantiating situational methods.
This research effort aims to extract a coherent catalogue of process patterns from a select set of enterprise architecture frameworks and methodologies, thus benefiting from the rich repertoire of enterprise architecture practices and processes currently in use. These patterns will be merged with previously published process patterns to constitute a generic process framework for enterprise architecture engineering. The validity of the proposed process patterns and framework will be evaluated through criteria-based analysis, and also by comparison against prominent enterprise architecture development processes.

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Contact Information

   Email: mh_ahmadi[at] ce [dot] sharif [dot] edu