EA Professional Doctrine

Enterprise Architecture Doctrine

Founding Signatories Here (see Affirmation)

I.         PREAMBLE
This Doctrine embodies Enterprise Architecture (EA) foundation values and principles for both Practice and Profession, clarifies the purpose of EA, and establishes a basis for EA to mature as a Profession.  The Doctrine defines an ideal for behaviors that members of the Profession strive to achieve and for which they are held accountable, today and into the future.  The Doctrine’s values and principles provide a defensible foundation for providing value to stakeholders across a wide spectrum of cultures, organizations and practitioners.

The expected outcome from affirming the Doctrine is fourfold:

  • Strengthen the identity of the Enterprise Architect Profession;
  • Provide differentiation between EA and other professions;
  • Engender consistency and relevance for the Profession and its practice; and
  • Change the way in which people think about and value EA.

A faster, leaner marketplace that is increasingly competitive and cost aware requires professionals who have specialized skills and who are expert at cohesively bridging strategic, operational, and technical elements. Enterprise Architects fulfill this requirement.  Applying advanced knowledge, professional practices, and well-honed skills, they establish trust and transparency through accountability for sound judgment.

Such capabilities can only be developed through specialized training, which involves multiple disciplines and goes beyond the typical undergraduate education, reflective practices, and autonomy in architecting an enterprise.  Consistent practices within the profession provide this lynchpin.  Enterprise Architects deliver value by maintaining awareness of the public impact of their work while fulfilling the needs of the enterprise through their architecture.

The Doctrine provides a set of foundation values and principles for EA.  It also gives clarity of purpose to guide practitioners in balancing conflicts.  Enterprise architects are expected to live the values and live by the principles, not simply reference them.  The Enterprise Architect’s Oath, a separate document, commits enterprise architects to uphold the ethics of the Profession.  Taken together, the values, principles, and ethics offer all Enterprise Architects a sound foundation for their professional behavior.

Enterprise Architects serve stakeholders within the enterprise that commissions their work, and its broader value network, as well as the Profession and the Public. These stakeholders, in turn, play a significant role in providing feedback and guidance to the Profession in support of its continuous improvement.

Bounded by ethics and local laws, Enterprise Architects owe duties to multiple stakeholders.  At times some duties may conflict with the principles of the Practice or the Profession, but the values upon which the principles are based must never be sacrificed.  Recognizing the need for guidance when conflicts arise, the Board of Trustees provides clarity through ongoing governance of these values and principles.

A.   Values
Values drive behavior, which ultimately define the culture, judgments, and actions that Enterprise Architects demonstrate as practitioners.  Enterprise Architecture promotes a culture of Professionals who live their commonly accepted values:

·         Evolutionary

Enterprise Architects embrace change by promoting adaptability and flexibility.  Evolution is enabled through ongoing reflective learning and an option-oriented process that addresses challenges and provides creative alternatives.

·         Harmonious

Enterprise Architects drive enterprise alignment, where appropriate, by facilitating convergence, strive for consistency in practice, alleviate conflict through skillful negotiation, and focus on achieving consensus among stakeholders.

·         Balanced

Enterprise Architects maintain the proper tension among conflicting forces across multiple dimensions.  This requires them to “walk the line” between short-term focus and supporting long-term sustainable value by thinking strategically while acting tactically.  They stay balanced by focusing on delivering immediate value while maintaining the vision for sustainable value.

·         Holistic

Enterprise Architects establish integrated views across perspectives and concerns by modeling solutions across the entire enterprise.  This requires open-minded thinking beyond apparent and perceived constraints.  The goal is to harness essential complexity while striving for simplification.

·         Pragmatic

Enterprise Architects deliver value by applying appropriate oversight to the structural changes that enterprises invest in, by resolving alternative perspectives and concerns in a transparent manner, and by enabling fit to need.

·         Respectful

Enterprise Architects are responsible for ensuring there is mutual respect when interacting with peers, customers, clients and other parties.  They embody emotional intelligence, integrity and accountability; act responsibly in making decisions and judgments, and in taking action; conform to the adopted code of conduct and ethical standards; act with discretion; and demonstrate a courteous demeanor at all times.

B.  Principles

Enterprise Architects shall:

·         Make architectural judgments.

They translate the enterprise’s strategies, visions, and goals into a holistic architecture.  Incorporating the viewpoints of the many domains of interest in an enterprise is a necessity.

·         Articulate the rationale.

They build upon rational decision processes to form professional judgments, and demonstrate the reasoned approach underlying both judgments and actions.

·         Accept professional accountability.

They accept professional accountability for their architectural judgments and actions.  Without accountability there is little chance for lasting impact on the enterprise.

·         Promote strategic and operational value.

They comprehend and enhance the value of both the strategies and the operations of the enterprise.

·         Enhance architectural value.

They seek to reduce inappropriate complexity and mitigate risk to enhance architectural value for the enterprise.

·         Architect for adaptability.

They design structures that help organizations embrace change.  They bridge the strategic, operational, and technical aspects of embracing and exploiting change.

·         Architect for sustainable value.

They create holistic enterprise architectures that enable the enterprise to deliver sustainable value to the enterprise and public.  They recognize responsibility to multiple stakeholders and seek balance among potentially conflicting demands.

·         Advance the EA Profession.

Advancing only a limited personal agenda while ignoring a broader professional scope ultimately limits an Enterprise Architect’s potential for growth and contribution.

·         Above all; act with integrity and discretion.

Trust is the foundation of every Enterprise Architect’s success.  Integrity and discretion are hallmarks of a trust relationship.  Together, they are the basis for EA Practice.


The Enterprise Architecture Profession shall:

·         Serve society today.

Enterprises, governments, and individuals have immediate and pressing needs for the duties and advice of the EA Profession.

·         Adapt for tomorrow.

Society’s needs are diverse and continually evolving; the EA Profession responds to, reflects, and anticipates these changes in tomorrows’ needs.

·         Establish and uphold ethical and professional standards.

Integrity is the bedrock on which trust and respect are built; the integrity of the EA Profession is measured by the soundness of its professional practices.

·         Develop an empirical body of knowledge.

A recognized, empirically derived body of knowledge forms the basis for EA practices, and ensures that members of the profession have a common understanding of these practices.

·         Demonstrate self-regulation.

Professional autonomy is earned through the strict enforcement of ethical and professional standards; establishment of accreditation models, certification requirements, and professional registries; and through clear and compelling leadership.

·         Require impartiality.

Bias in judgment or action, whether for monetary, political or personal gain destroys integrity and trust; therefore it cannot be tolerated by the EA Profession.

·         Promote fair and open competition.

Respect for the Profession, mutual respect amongst practitioners of the Profession, and respect for the principles of freedom and equality necessitate reward on the basis of merit earned through honest effort and delivered value.

The Profession seeks responsible advocacy for its advancement.

Advocacy is the act of speaking or of disseminating information intended to influence individual behavior or opinion, enterprise conduct, or public policy and law.  Responsible advocacy means that individual advocates recognize that they are answerable for their actions and for any resulting consequences.

Enterprise architects support responsible advocacy on the behalf of the Profession through:

·         Writing in journals, web sites, blogs and other media;

·         Speaking in enterprise and public forums;

·         Actively engaging with other enterprise architects, students, and communities of interests; and

·         Leading by example in the practice of the Profession.

Responsible advocacy must align with and leverage available resources and endeavor to answer key questions for interested parties and the public:

·         Clarify in the public eye what a professional EA contributes

·         Ensure the public’s trust in EA as a profession

·         Assure the public they’re dealing with a competent EA professional

To proactively promote the standing of the Profession and cohesion within it, responsible governance of the Profession is required.  Such governance addresses multiple challenges:

·         Lack of effective governance frameworks established across the Profession;

·         Appropriate coordination between professional bodies in service to society;

·         Required coordination for the Profession to be able to speak with a single voice; and

·         Fostering collaboration across multiple professional bodies to achieve results within major work streams.

B.         DOCTRINE
The Doctrine is an evolving document. The governance body’s primary role in support of the Doctrine is to:

·         Provide transparency and effective communication of decisions about changes in the Doctrine.  This covers both the rationale and final outcomes and ensures alignment with governance processes and policies.

·         Create mechanisms that foster a community-oriented, inclusive approach to collect input and feedback from key subject matter experts in the profession, ensuring relevancy and use of best practices, while enabling decisions to be made in a timely manner.

·         Provide operational support to facilitate timely and appropriate updates to the Doctrine and information about it.
The Board of Trustees within the Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession (CAEAP) has final decision-making authority for major changes to the Doctrine, as may be proposed from time to time by the Intellectual Property Council, a CAEAP body in place to ensure integrity and maintenance of Doctrine content.

The Doctrine is an evolving document which will undergo formal change, based on experience and practical wisdom.  The principles themselves can be expected to prove solid in the tests of time, and will be widely endorsed and used by members of the profession.  The Doctrine is a practical instrument for describing professional beliefs, founded on a set of core values and principles, which are the basis for the Profession and the Practice.  The Doctrine provides a symbol of unity focused on improving the Profession, and seeking the stature that lawyers, doctors, professional architects, and CPA’s have long since achieved.

Enterprise architects are expected to live the values, not simply reference them, to ensure they demonstrate the agreed behaviors that support the Profession.  The Enterprise Architect’s Oath commits enterprise architects to uphold the ethics of the Profession.  Together, the values, principles, and ethics provide all enterprise architects with a sound benchmark for their professional judgments and actions.

I understand that by signing this document, I agree to support the EA Doctrine in good faith. With this commitment, I express my intent to advance these ideals within my sphere of influence, and to make a clear statement of this commitment to all stakeholders.

(The signatory table can take up to 15 seconds for the initial update, please be patient.)

Authors: Enterprise Architecture Doctrine, 2009

•       Marc d. Paradis, Healthcare IT, Boston, MA, USA
•       John M. Haynes, Financial, Dallas, Texas, USA
•       Donald V. Hirst, Financial Services (Retired), Eugene, OR  USA
•       Chris Potts, Corporate Strategy, London, United Kingdom
•       Jeff Wolfers, Financial Services, London, United Kingdom
•       Jeffrey Wallk, Healthcare, Chicago, IL, USA
•       Mark Sternberger, Business-Technology Consulting, Boston, MA, USA
•       Kris Seeburn, Academia / Consulting, Mauritius – Indian Ocean – Part of “Africa”
•       Colin P. Wheeler, Management Consultancy, London, United Kingdom
•       Mark Goetsch, Academia / Insurance, Chicago, IL, USA
•       Ruth Malan, Architecture Consulting, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
•       Cynthia FS Chan, non-profit, Greater New York City, USA
•       Mark Lane, Energy, Dallas, Texas, USA

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