Continual Professional Development

Written by Cort Coghill on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Posted in FEAC Institute

The argument for maintaining a reference library.

As professionals, we understand and appreciate the need for continual professional development (CPD). Associations, training organizations, etc. exist to help facilitate this need. However, one of the most important aspects of a well-balanced approach to CPD is having access to a diversity of thought. We all know a professional or two who believe in the one method or tool or whatever that will “rule them all” (my apologies to Tolkien). The reality is that there is no one approach or solution to the broad range of challenges facing any single organization. There is no Silver Bullet that is going to solve 80% of problems your organization is dealing with, regardless of the hype presented during a training course or conference presentation. Professionals need to have a breadth of approaches, techniques, and understanding to help define a problem, analyze it as well as develop and test possible solution alternatives, etc., etc. Diversity of challenges requires access to a variety of knowledge and thought. The Forgetting Curve shows how information lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. These challenges alone are a solid rationale for establishing and maintaining a professional reference library. 

A professional reference library is more than a list of documents. Similarly, having access to the internet is excellent but insufficient. With the rise of the “Google Smart” individuals only being as informed as their internet connection is active, we see the need for professionals to maintain ready access to knowledge and resources. A professional reference library is a resource where an individual can deposit and reliably retrieve information. Technology today helps to support a greater diversity of materials in a more readily retrieved format. Mostly gone are the shelves and shelves of books in the office. Increasingly these resources can be retrieved from your portable device of choice. This resource is a place where you can: 1. Store previously reviewed and studied material for faster recall and use. 2. Parking of materials that you have not yet completely digested. If this sounds like it requires a bit of thought and time investment, you would be correct.

A reference library is no different a resource than the software tools, education, conferences, and professional associations you have invested. CPD resources organized into broad categorization, such as EA Patterns and Reference Models, Methodologies and Frameworks, Standards and Specifications, etc. helps to reduce time to research.  Using meta-tags can also help to provide even faster indexing. The CPD is not just about documents but can also be a way to access great sites for up to date discussions, videos, and more. Services such a Google Stream, Dropbox, and others help to address cross-device access.

Setting aside the time to read and synthesize these resources is the most crucial aspect of a reference library.  Synthesis of thoughts and writing of others that run counter to your own is perhaps the most significant opportunity for growth. Don’t just collect documents, but build a CPD of professional knowledge that goes beyond a couple of days seminar or that digital stack of slides. Visit the FEAC Institute EA Zone if you are looking for a quick start to building your professional reference library.

About the Author

Cort Coghill

Cort Coghill

Dr. Cort Coghill is the director for education operations at the FEAC Institute. Previously he was a Program Manager with Battelle Memorial Institute providing technical analysis and security management to the Department of Defense and other government and commercial clients. His background includes both active duty military and civil service. He is a certified Project Management Professional as well as a FEAC Certified Enterprise Architect. He has worked major defense installation and facilities protection programs both in the United States and Abroad.

Cort is also one of the very few Zachman Certified - Enterprise Architect Educators (Level 4) in the world. This distinguished achievement, and highly sought after position, has set Cort apart as one of the foremost experts on the Zachman Framework, in both education and project work. His knowledge and friendly teaching style have helped adjust many misconceptions about the implementation of Zachman concepts in the Enterprise.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.

Stay Connected

Zachman Reviews

An excellent seminar. John shares his keen intuition for and understanding of the nature of enterprise architecture.

Chris Partridge
29 March 2018

Excellent first hand explanation. Very powerful.

Marco van Leeuwen
29 March 2018

The Zachman framework made me understand the value of problem solving.

Akin Ayeni
29 March 2018

Finally, it all comes together’. Great examples and stories. Continue with passion – it’s really good.

Willem Van der Brink
29 March 2018

Fun, informative and eye-opening. Very educational, friendly and helpful lecturers.

Shiraz Adam
29 March 2018

It was the honor to have met and learned from the legendary John A. Zachman himself, the Father of Enterprise Architecture. True Enterprise Architecture starts with Zachman Framework; otherwise, you are just wasting time.

Amar Masoud
26 April 2017

I have been doing Enterprise architecture since 2003, mostly DoDAF and TOGAF. Until I took the Zachman EA 4 day class, I didn't realize that all I had been doing was drawing incomplete views, since I didn't truly understand the relationships and the real impact to an organization of making a change to an architecture element. This class has shown me the importance of getting down to the "brass tacks" of an EA, namely the Zachman primitives and their relationships. I now realize that I have not been truly been doing EA up to this point, since I have not been identifying the organization's primitives!

Mike Robison
26 April 2017

The Zachman Framework training enabled me to fully understand the power of this framework (the ontology). The fundamentals of this framework will help me to (re)engineer Enterprises and solve business problems in the shortest possible time. As a free-lance Enterprise Architect my customers will benefit the knowledge and Case studies John and Sunil shared with us.

Jef Bergsma
24 March 2011

If you want to synthesize your professional experiences...
If you want to expand your understanding of Enterprise Architecture...
If you want to interact with others who think and talk like you do, and learn from the very best, then the Zachman International courses are for you!

Michelle Poolet
20 October 2008

Enterprise architecture, as a formal discipline, has arguably reached its ‘tipping point.’ Organizations are howling for change. Even in the current economic down-turn, savvy companies are turning to EA and The Zachman Framework for help. Getting Zachman Certified is dollar-for-dollar the smartest investment an architect, any architect, can make. Don’t think about it too long... get certified and join the growing community of Zachman Certified professionals.

Damon Farnham
3 April 2009

An excellent and inspiring seminar - we will return to work and start immediately. I can recommend this seminar with enthusiasm.

David Harrison
2 September 2014

He designed the Framework. Nobody can deliver the same quality of lecture as John.

Kitty Hung
17 October 2013

Engaging and charismatic.

Mark Luxton
6 October 2015

Lots of energy and enthusiasm. Passionate.

Simon Bathie
25 May 2015

Once more I was able to pick-up new ideas and a couple of valuable best practices. Also the EA energy injection by John Zachman was once more a highlight for me.

Henrik Jacobsson
23 April 2016

I was anxious about my decision to take the virtual class but felt like I was in the classroom with you all. Great job!

Burak Modali
23 May 2016

Mr. Zachman is the thought leader in enterprise architecture! I am so honored to have met him at training in Colorado and then again last October at a conference in Washington D.C. Through his publications and training - his efforts to raise the bar for enterprise architecture make him the world renown professional he is today. He IS the father of enterprise architecture. His work has helped to drive strategy execution and subsequent business outcomes through his ontology, strategy mapping, matrixes and models.

Tresa Chastain
8 March 2016

An excellent course. All CEOs and CIOs should attend.

Morag Clark
13 July 2015

An excellent and inspiring seminar - we will return to work and start immediately. I can recommend this seminar with enthusiasm.

David Harrison
18 November 2015

John Zachman presents a very compelling argument, that is, every organization needs an Enterprise Architecture to survive.

Jane Stewart
18 May 2014

Many wide ranging examples to demonstrate why. Engaging and entertaining.

Andre Gauthier
18 August 2016

The explanation of the framework itself and the meaning of the components were most helpful.

Andreja Korosec Rebula
18 June 2014

An excellent seminar. John shares his keen intuition for and understanding of the nature of enterprise architecture.

Chris Partridge
10 August 2015

The enthusiasm, energy and breadth of experience remain, as ever, infectious and mesmerising. Your continued support for John over the last few years is clearly appreciated and probably instrumental in his continuing to return to the UK. Further workshop and/or seminar opportunities are eagerly anticipated. This week has been money very well spent.

Rob Austen
20 June 2016

John Zachman gave me an excellent insight into the way EA practitioners think and operate, enabling me to express an organisation (as business architecture models) in their language.

Matthew Brown
14 June 2016