I just recently had a former TOGAF student about ready to take his Level 2 Certification Exam write to me, "Once I pass it, I can say I'm an Architect and that will open up all kinds of new doors for me." While I'm pleased at how much can be learned in well-taught TOGAF classes, which only last 4 days when taught live, I'm keen now on emphasizing a theme that some may say has been missing from The Open Group world, a collection of TOGAF-related courses for more of a building block approach over time to customizing and then actually using at least some aspects of TOGAF.  Such an approach has been core to the Scaled Agile Community (SAFe) school of thought (the need for a journey with multiple courses over time to establish deeper learning and a more continuous architecture-centric education, although more focused on implementation than on design). 
 
This latter approach is also emphasized in the PMI world, where those with PMI certifications must earn a certain number of Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years. Note that The Open Group currently requires no PDUs to maintain one's TOGAF certification, although its Open Certified Architect (Open CA) series does require yearly renewals and refresher reviews, according to the last time I checked.
 
The Open Group has, however, joined the world of awarding Acclaim badges for various achievements within its ecosystem. Such badges are seen as recognition of more effort and achievement, as well as pathways for possibly more advanced certifications in the future.
 
In benchmarking with SAFe, and also now offering SAFe certification courses, EA Principals, a longtime Gold Member of The Open Group, would like to see a holistic "Big Picture" of the TOGAF-related ecosystem in the form of one or more posters and should probably help create it. The benchmark for such an effort would be the set of posters that SAFe provides on its Website: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/. I see this direction of providing a "Big Picture" as a promising direction for The Open Group to take in the coming years, especially as it is the leading provider of EA Certifications in the world, with over 100,000 Certifications having been awarded for TOGAF 9 alone. With such an undertaking, as I have just described, it is likely that future TOGAF students will see a more expansive portfolio of courses over time to go from foundational knowledge in a young EA practice to mature EA programs leveraging the knowledge transferred. Even without the posters, though, work is already underway with this idea of developing longer-term, more continuous relationships with TOGAF-trained clients, which is a Win-Win-Win for The Open Group, TOGAF trainers, but mostly for TOGAF practitioners.
 
Authored by Dr Steve Else

 

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