Federal Segment Architecture Methodology Overview    (3ZXU)

Background    (4008)

In January 2008, the Federal Segment Architecture Working Group (FSAWG) was formed as a sub-team of the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) of the Federal CIO Council. The FSAWG consisted of federal agency chief architects tasked to leverage enterprise architecture (EA) best practices in order to publish a standard methodology for creating and using segment architectures. The FSAWG developed the Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM), a step-by-step process for developing and using segment architecture that leverages existing “best practice” analysis techniques and easy-to-use templates to expedite architecture development. The FSAM includes guidance for development of segment architecture in the form of a repeatable “how-to” process for business-driven, results-oriented modernization planning.    (3ZXW)

A segment architecture is a detailed results-oriented architecture (baseline and target) and a transition strategy for a portion (or segment) of the enterprise. The FSAM guidance supports all three segment types as defined in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) FEA Practice Guidance: core mission area, business service, and enterprise service segments. The FSAM process steps describe a path for the development of a core mission area segment architecture and also includes guidance on tailoring the approach for developing business service and enterprise service segment architectures.    (3ZXX)

A core mission area segment represents a unique service area defining the mission or purpose of the agency. Core mission areas are defined by the agency business model (e.g., tactical defense, air transportation, energy supply, pollution prevention and control, and emergency response).    (3ZXY)

A business service segment included common or shared business services supporting the core mission areas. Business services are defined by the agency business model and include the foundational mechanisms and back office services used to achieve the purpose of the agency (e.g., inspections and auditing, program monitoring, human resource management, and financial management).    (3ZXZ)

An enterprise service segment includes common or shared IT services supporting core mission areas and business services. Enterprise services are defined by the agency service model and include the applications and service components used to achieve the purpose of the agency (e.g., knowledge management, records management, mapping/GIS, business intelligence, and reporting).    (3ZY0)

Segment architecture is driven by business management and delivers products that improve the delivery of services to citizens and agency staff. FSAM is a scalable and repeatable process with which architects can engage business stakeholders and deliver value to business owners. While working with business owners, architects can leverage the FSAM to establish clear relationships among strategic goals, detailed business / information management requirements, and measurable performance improvements.    (3ZY1)

The FSAWG was careful to consider types of architectures as well as the need for agencies to develop and implement segment architectures that reflect their unique mission requirements and organizational cultures. As a result, the FSAM guidance is not intended to be completely prescriptive but was developed to offer a comprehensive approach for producing a complete segment architecture. FSAM also provides suggested analytical techniques designed to conform to reporting requirements within the annual OMB enterprise architecture assessment framework (EAAF).    (3ZY2)

Top-Level Overview of the FSAM Guidance    (3ZY3)

FSAM is designed to help architects develop the core elements and attributes that are needed for a complete segment architecture. The top level of the methodology consists of five key process steps that provide guidance on identifying and validating the business need and the scope of the architecture to be defined, defining the current (as-is) and target states for the segment, and developing transition plans for the performance, business, data, services, and technology architecture layers. The top level FSAM process steps are shown in blue in Figure 1.    (3ZY4)

http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/fsam/FSAM-Visual-small.gif    (3ZY5)

Figure 1: FSAM High-Level Overview    (3ZY6)

Once the agency has prioritized its segments and selected a segment to architect, the architects then use the FSAM to assign executive sponsorship, ensure participation of business owners, and develop a business-owner-approved segment architecture blueprint. Each of the five FSAM process steps is important in the development of a complete and actionable segment architecture:    (3ZY7)

1. Determine Participants and Launch the Project: The architect leverages the guidance in this process step to establish the segment governance framework, validate the business owner(s) for the segment, formally appointment an executive sponsor and a core team, and establish the purpose statement to guide the architecture development. This process step also includes guidance for introducing a solid project management foundation for the segment architecture development effort with the creation of a project plan and communications strategy. Key questions addressed within this process step include:    (3ZY8)

2. Define the Segment Scope and Strategic Intent: The architect leverages the guidance in this process step to produce a segment scope and prioritized strategic improvement opportunities based upon the needs of the business stakeholders. The architect then defines the segment strategic intent which consists of the target state vision, performance goals, and common / mission services target maturity levels. The subsequent FSAM process steps will align with the strategic intent to provide a complete segment performance line-of-sight and to support achieving the segment target state vision. Key questions addressed within this process step include:    (3ZYG)

3. Define Business and Information Requirements: The architect leverages this process step guidance to analyze the segment business and information architecture to determine the business and information improvement opportunities that will achieve the target performance architecture. Key questions addressed within this step include:    (3ZYP)

4. Define the Conceptual Solution Architecture: The architect leverages the guidance in this process step to produce the conceptual solution architecture which provides an integrated view of the combined systems, service, and technology architectures that support the target performance, business, and data architectures developed in the preceding process steps. This process step also includes guidance for developing recommendations for transitioning from the current (as-is) state to the target state. Key questions addressed within this step include:    (3ZYW)

5. Author the Modernization Blueprint: The architect leverages outputs from previous process steps in order to create a segment architecture blueprint including sequencing and transition plans. The outcome of this step is a series of validated implementation recommendations described in a detailed, actionable segment architecture blueprint supported by holistic analysis of segment business, data, technology, and service components. Key questions addressed within this step include:    (3ZZ3)

The FSAM has been designed to assist architects as they develop actionable segment architectures. The outputs from the FSAM have also been designed specifically to be leveraged within other downstream processes, including performance / investment management, enterprise transition planning, solution architecture development, and system lifecycle management.    (3ZZ8)

Segment Sizing and Timing    (3ZZ9)

The timing of segment architecture development is critical as the federal government has associated deadlines for capital planning and budget processes. Understanding a segment’s size and complexity prior to beginning a segment architecture development effort can help the team determine the overall duration and level of effort to be expected. Such estimates also enable an agency’s EA program team to estimate the resources that may be required to support the development of a specific segment architecture. Table 1 provides an example of how an agency could determine the size and complexity of a specific segment.    (3ZZA)

http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/fsam/SegmentSizingGuide.jpg    (3ZZB)

Table 1: Segment Sizing Guide    (3ZZC)

These segment sizing factors are not intended to be an exhaustive list but to be leveraged as a starting point for agencies in determining the anticipated level of effort when undertaking a segment architecture development effort. Table 2 provides guidance for the target duration required for architecting segments of different sizes and complexity (Steps 2 through 5). EA organizations should work to build their capabilities and optimize their efficiencies toward achieving these durations. Since Step 1 is associated with establishing the overall segment governance, the duration of this step is driven primarily by organizational complexity and is less dependent upon other segment-sizing parameters. Therefore, estimates of the time required to complete Step 1 are not provided as they can vary greatly, irrespective of segment size.    (3ZZD)

http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/fsam/TimingEstimates.jpg    (3ZZE)

Table 2: Time Estimates for Completing FSAM Steps    (3ZZF)

Structure of the FSAM Guidance    (3ZZG)

The FSAM is structured with three levels of decomposition that describe the process steps in terms of more detailed activities and tasks. The process steps, activities, and tasks are presented in an online toolkit containing guidance documents as well as analytical templates designed to expedite the development of segment architectures. Figure 2 shows the three levels of decomposition, including the high-level process steps, activities within each process step, and tasks within each activity.    (3ZZH)

http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/fsam/StepsActivitiesTasks.jpg    (3ZZI)

Figure 2: FSAM Process Steps, Activities, and Tasks    (3ZZJ)

The FSAM guidance consists of five process step guidance documents that include detailed descriptions of the associated activities and tasks. The guidance documents follow a uniform structure that includes the elements described in Table 3. A glossary of terms used in the FSAM guidance documentation is provided in Table 4.    (3ZZK)

http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/fsam/Structure.jpg    (3ZZL)

Table 3: Structure of the FSAM Guidance Document    (3ZZM)

FSAM Suggested Analytical Techniques    (3ZZN)

FSAM also includes a comprehensive toolbox of suggested analytical techniques as summarized in Table 5. These analytical techniques are provided for the outputs of each activity of a process step, as defined in FSAM, and are based on agency best practices that were assessed for inclusion by the FSAWG.    (3ZZO)

Within the FSAM, the outputs are generalized and may be satisfied by analytical techniques and best practices, as determined by each agency. The suggested analytical techniques included with FSAM are provided for each output and are designed to satisfy the requirements for developing a complete segment architecture.    (3ZZP)

Table 5 identifies those outputs that are considered “core FSAM outputs.” The “core” designation suggests that the outputs deliver a complete segment architecture, as defined in the OMB EAAF v3.0 reporting requirements. All mappings defined in Table 5 are based on the data attributes as defined for each output in the corresponding suggested analytical techniques. Table 5 also identifies which FSAM outputs, when used with the suggested analytical techniques, either support (S) or are core (C) to satisfying key usage requirements corresponding to strategic planning, capital planning, information technology (IT) governance, EAAF reporting, solution development, and security / privacy.    (3ZZQ)

Conclusion    (3ZZR)

The OMB FEA practice guidance includes core philosophies that should be embraced by the architecture community. According to the FEA Practice Guidance:    (3ZZS)

“Business-led architecture is more successful in meeting strategic goals, responding to changing mission needs, and serving citizens’ expectations than technology or budget driven architecture. This principle encourages agency architects to proactively collaborate with business stakeholders to develop architecture work products for a segment. Architects must understand the current state of the business and where the business stakeholders would like to make improvements. With this shared understanding, architects and business stakeholders can work together to develop the architecture work products supporting better investment and implementation decision-making.”    (3ZZT)

Within the federal EA community, the core premise that architecture is about achieving results is widely accepted. However, many architects still struggle to answer the question of “how”:    (3ZZU)

The FSAM has been designed to provide federal architecture practitioners with an approach to answering these “how” questions in order to achieve results. There is wide-spread agreement that participation in architecture extends beyond the practitioners to the business community and that architecture should be business-driven and produce business benefits. Using the FSAM step-by-step, repeatable process, the EA community can resolve the “how” questions and proactively engage business segments in transformational planning to produce actionable plans that lead to measurable results.    (4001)

Table 5: Summary of FSAM Outputs and Suggested Analytical Techniques    (4002)

References    (4003)

“Value to the Mission,” Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Practice Guidance, Federal Enterprise Architecture Program, Management Office, Office of Management and Budget, December 2006    (4004)

Improving Agency Performance Using Technology, Enterprise Architecture Assessment Framework v3.0, Federal Enterprise Architecture Program, Management Office, Office of Management and Budget, July 2008 [Draft]    (4005)

Glossary    (4006)

Table 4: FSAM Glossary    (4007)

Process Step 1 /Determine_Participants_and_Launch_Project    (3YOB)