The Zachman Framework is a form of enterprise that offers a structured and formal outlook of an enterprise. The framework is designed to present a clear distinction between two historical classifications that have been used for several years. According to the framework, the initial historical arrangement is centered on conventional communication through primitive interrogatives. The second classification refers to the transformation of a theoretical idea to result in an instantiation that was proposed by the Greek philosophers (Zachman, 2012).
The design and development of the framework was to help in the classification and organization of the descriptive processes within an organization that are essential for the management of an enterprise. The framework is also designed to help in the development of management systems of an enterprise by utilizing a grid model. The use of grid model in the framework serves the purpose of providing a holistic view of the enterprise in use under modification. Consequently, the framework could also be used by information technology professionals for analyzing and understanding the inferences of the primary information technology schemes formulated within the enterprise (Lee, Ahn, & Lee, 2014).
Zachman Framework is also useful in sorting out complicated technological and methodological choices and issues within the enterprise. Some of these issues are critical within the enterprise due to their involvement in the general management of the technology. The framework is made up a simple structure involving very influential functionalities designed for different organizations. Therefore, it is crucial for the system designers to have a deeper understanding of the different aspects of the process for them to develop a perfect tool to be used in decision making. The structure consists of 6 columns and 6 rows, forming a structure of 36 unique cells. The rows of the framework are separated based on the scope of the system, business and technological model.
The development of Zachman framework was outsourced from various disciplines of architecture and engineering that were formerly used in the design and production of compound structures for example airplanes and buildings. For that reason, the framework as evolved to being an elementary standard enterprise design employed for the alignment of business goals with the information technology goals.
The general scope of the framework revolves around describing a holistic model of the information infrastructure of any enterprise. The framework functions under principles aimed at describing the enterprise model. However, the framework does not have a chronological implementation strategy as it is dependent on the decisions of the professionals using the framework. Even though the framework lacks a standardized sequence, the primary focus of the implementation process plan of the framework is to ensure that all the components of the enterprise are effectively organized to establish an explicit relationship between the processes (Harmon, 2015). Such a focus helps in ensuring that a complete system is developed irrespective of the order of systems used.
One of the strengths of using the Zachman framework in an enterprise is attributed to its acceptability within the modern society making it an approved standard for scheming and developing enterprise architecture. Another strength of the framework is that it defines the perspective through which all enterprise models should assume an indication that it could be used as a reference point in the process of developing an enterprise architecture. The framework facilitates communication between the enterprise model and the stakeholders, resulting in an improved professional communication structure within the information system network.
The framework is however associated with several weaknesses, making it unpopular among many enterprise architects. One of the weaknesses associated with the framework is that it requires a very involving documentation process whereby the 36 cells are supported by one or more models making it complicated to implement and use. The framework could also lead to a complicated development process approach requiring collection of rigorous processes (Gerber, van der Merwe & Bayes, 2013). Due to the limited coverage of the framework within the development community, some developers have very limited knowledge on how to handle the framework.
The government of Ontario employs the Zachman framework for designing its enterprise models. One of the benefits that the government has accrued from using this framework is the development of a comprehensive architecture with properly defined processes and principles. The use of the framework is also attributed to the improved governance within the information technology executive leadership council. Other entities that have benefited from the use of this framework include Bank of America, and Volkswagen. For instance the Volkswagen Company uses the framework for purposes of developing architectural designs to facilitate mass production of its vehicles. Bank of America uses the framework to cultivate comprehensive models aimed at controlling and monitoring the banking systems to achieve supreme competence.
The Zachman framework is founded on clear architectural design principles that ensure that the implementation process is a success only if the designer and the builder continues to adhere these principles.
Gerber, A., van der Merwe, A., & Bayes, K. (2013, November). An investigation into UML case tool support for the Zachman Framework. In Enterprise Systems Conference (ES), 2013 (pp. 1-9). IEEE.
Harmon, P. (2015). The scope and evolution of business process management. In Handbook on Business Process Management 1 (pp. 37-80). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Lee, J. Y., Ahn, K., & Lee, S. (2014). Applying OWL Ontology to Zachman Framework for Requirement Analysis. ideas (at the Detailed Representation level), 2, 3.
Zachman, J. A. (2012). Zachman framework. John A. Zachman and Zachman International, Inc, 201(2).