The latest version of the TOGAF Standard, Version 10, is the source document for the TOGAF Enterprise Architect certification. Upfront: You should make it a priority to get this certification for yourself and your team.
This is not intended to be a sales pitch, but if you are TOGAF 9 Certified, I highly recommend that you take the TOGAF Enterprise Bridge Course, which lasts 2 intense days, saving you 2 days of class time and the price of one voucher instead of buying two. Plus, this exam is rather easy because it only has 20 Level 1 multiple choice questions, most of which should not be too difficult, and 4 Level 2 Scenarios and associated questions and multiple choice questions.
The Combined Level 1 and Level 2 course, normally conducted in 4 days, is a rather exhausting course and it is recommended that only experienced architects take it. The course is sophisticated and likely to give the impression of information overload by mid day the third day, as the range of testable material is spread out over 1000 pages, nearly double what was in TOGAF 9.
In my opinion, not only should one take formal training to master the material, but one has to be very careful regarding who the instructor is. TOGAF Enterprise Architecture stays true to the commitment that the Architecture Development Method (ADM) is the most important part of TOGAF, but puts more emphasis on cycling through the ADM phases than thinking very much about the Preliminary Phase (where the EA practice is set up and maintained).
But that is okay because you really cannot do that phase well without first mastering the ADM’s problem solving approach that depends very much on the Architecture Vision Phase (Phase A) to create the architecture vision and roadmap for a successful EA practice.
Where the knowledge and skills of the trainer come into play is through the new imperative to work interactively with the students on 18 scenarios. These rather challenging scenarios cover mostly Phases A-H in hammering the centrality of the stakeholders as the owners and decision makers for the architecture projects. Practitioners must work hard to be excellent facilitators to communicate effectively with stakeholders – which downplays formal modeling and underscores stakeholder engagement as the most important skill, assuming that one has the fundamental EA knowledge, including confident mastery of the ADM. Mastery includes focusing on the purpose, outputs, and essential knowledge for each phase. For example, if given the choice between creating more work products and models versus successful communication strategies, one must choose the latter.
I have found it important to introduce the first couple of Learning Studies by the end of Day 1. Otherwise, it will be impossible to get through all 18 by the end of Day 4. Students have actually found the deep engagement of our trainers on these studies as absolutely necessary to guide them through each scenario, question, and the 4 choices.
We are also required to iteach how to differentiate between the 4 choices in ranking them with 5, 3, 1, and 0 points,respectively, even though one can only actually select one answer for each scenario question.
TOGAF Enterprise Architecture rightfully emphasizes that architects should have valued outcomes spelled out in Phase A that all the phases must be providing outcomes along the way.
EA Principals has developed two interactive apps for allowing students to review the 18 scenarios in an interactive way, plus we now have a great setup for creating additional learning studies, including one customized for private clients. In short, TOGAF Enterprise Architecture is focused on the delivery of the valued outcomes determined by the stakeholders. It is not architecture for architecture’s sake.
Meeting the challenges of working through about 20 scenarios leads to a kind of programming occurring, with incremental lessons about best practices for a successful architecture program and role. But vet your training company very carefully because TOGAF Enterprise Architecture is a more expansive and sophisticated body of knowledge that needs proven lecture and facilitation skills to plow through all the learning objectives. One other point: there would be no value, in my opinion, of only pursuing Foundational Level 1 certification. The richness of TOGAF Enterprise Architecture can only be appreciated by being trained and certified at the Practitioner Level.
Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor
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