After explaining what enterprise architecture is and how it could benefit your business The enterprise architecture show – episode 2, this post is about to explain what is The Enterprise Architecture Framework and why we need it. If you’re following my previous posts you probably noticed (or you already know) that enterprise architecture is a very complex task from two perspectives, content and process. From the content perspective you will need to know , in advance , what are all the ingredients necessary in order to map your entire enterprise (including business, information systems and technology domains). In addition to defining all the building blocks you also need to know how to show them visually so you can use them to communicate both with the business and IT side of the enterprise to achieve alignment of the IT to the business needs. After getting an understanding about the content side you still need to tame the complexity of the process perspective. It is not enough just to know what are the needed building blocks and how to show them visually, you need to know what is the order of mapping those building blocks, who needs to perform which task , what should be the practitioners’ skill sets, what are the tools that you can use, which questions you need to ask while conducting interviews and many other questions regarding the enterprise architecture process. The first framework that was publicly available was named after the person who formulated it: Johan Zachman. The Zachman framework focused on the content perspective. Johan Zachman defined what were the views needing to be defined in order to get an holistic view of enterprise by using the six “WH” questions (What, Why, Where, When, Who, How) and six view points which defined 36 views to fully describe the enterprise. While the Zachman process deals with the content aspect it lacks the process perspective. In order to more fully support the process perspective a number of more practical framework made their appearance (such as TOGAF, Gartner, etc’). Those frameworks focused more on the process aspect and tended to show that they align to the Zachman framework. Another type of enterprise architecture framework is an industry specific framework (as NGOS, TEAF). Those frameworks deal with both the content and the process, but because they are industry specific they elaborate more on the content and on the process. Enterprise architecture frameworks are tools that help us describe and know what should be the content of enterprise architecture work and how to reach this content. They are always a base suggestion that each and every enterprise tends to customize for their own needs and conditions . Still, enterprise architecture frameworks are tools that might greatly help you in reaching your enterprise architecture. Natty Gur.