At the FEAC Institute, we pride ourselves on the instruction given by our world-class group of faculty and instructors. Not only are we the longest running EA certifying Institute in the US, but we offer instruction by professionals who influence Enterprise Architecture in their every-day careers.
We'd like to give you the opportunity to meet some of these professionals in a short conversation in order to demonstrate the level of instruction offered at the FEAC Institute.
This conversation is with Dr. Ann Reedy. As one of the principal authors of the actual DoDAF, we feel priviledged for the years of service Dr. Reedy has given to FEAC.
Ann has taught as a faculty member for FEAC for over 10 years and she has co-authored the 791 page FEAC Certified Enterprise Architect textbook with Dr. Beryl Bellman and Prakash Rao. Ann has made major presentations all over the world, she has numerous published works, in addition to continuing to add major contributions to the industry with her consulting duties at MITRE.
Thank you Ann!
-The FEAC Institute Team
A conversation with
Dr. Reedy has a PhD in Computer Science and extensive experience in both academia and the contracting community. She worked on the various versions of C4ISR Architecture Framework and on its evolution into the DoD Architecture Framework (DoDAF). She has supported the adaptation of the DoDAF for various federal organizations and agencies as well as supporting a wide variety of enterprise architecture developments based on the DoDAF. One of her topics of interest is the inclusion of security related information into DoDAF based architectures. She currently teaches DoDAF classes for the Federated Enterprise Architecture Certification (FEAC) Institute and is a co-author of the forthcoming FEAC text on Enterprise Architecture.
The MITRE Corporation
How long have you been teaching for FEAC?
Over 10 years.
What is your favorite thing about teaching for FEAC?
I like helping students start to look at enterprise issues first and not automatically thinking of systems as the solution.
What is your favorite memory about a student who actually applied the concepts taught in the course?
I remember one team that focused their practicum project on documenting their company’s internal management reporting processes. To their surprise, they discovered that the various levels of management were getting different, inconsistent information from their reporting processes and tools. In just the 12 weeks of the class, they developed a briefing that they used to illustrate these business critical findings and recommendations for change to their management.
What is your history with DoDAF?
I worked on the predecessor of DoDAF and its evolution into DoDAF. I started with the MITRE team working on the evolution of the C4ISR (Command, Control, Computers, and Communications Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) Architecture Framework just after version 1 was developed and continued to support the effort until DoDAF v1.0 was approved. I continue to track developments in the DoDAF and supply occasional feedback. I have helped a variety of DoD and other government agencies tailor the DoDAF views for their Enterprise Architectures and assisted in developing an initial set of views.
Why do you think a DoDAF certification is important?
While the use of DoDAF is required, the DoDAF documents are not easy to read and don’t readily convey the vision for how the DoDAF views should be integrated and used. Anyone who wants to use the DoDAF effectively needs to practice using the DoDAF in an enterprise context, not just listen to lectures on the DoDAF. A FEAC Certification in DoDAF provides proof that an individual has both the knowledge and experience to be immediately effective in developing DoDAF based enterprise architectures.
How do you think DoDAF relates to Enterprise Architecture today?
The DoDAF has influenced many of the international defense department EA Frameworks in use today. It has also been adopted by a variety of civilian governmental agencies. The DoDAF provides a standard set of architecture views and data that support the sharing of architecture data across organizations that use it. While the DoDAF doesn’t solve all of the problems associated with sharing architecture information or cover all the architecture information an organization might need, it provides a very basic set of views and information and is evolving based on lessons learned and input form other organizations.
Where do you see the future of DoDAF is headed and why is education in it important?
The DoDAF will continue to evolve both in terms of the types of architecture data it includes and in terms of techniques needed to ensure the data is sharable. The new types of data will probably include additional management support data, such as data relevant to risk management and analysis. Developing standards that allow architecture data to be shared while allowing the flexibility needed to meet the needs of all the various types of enterprises, segments, and solutions is a big challenge. Users of the DoDAF will need continuing education to keep up with the changes in the DoDAF and its associated data sharing standards.
How can students prepare themselves for a DoDAF certification?
Students can prepare themselves for DoDAF certification through education and practice. The FEAC course provides specific college credit courses in the DoDAF and we have developed a textbook to help capture the information that is covered in these courses. Students who take the courses should also use their course slides as good summary and reference information. However, practice in the use of the DoDAF is also necessary. We find that most of our students don’t fully understand the basic concepts necessary to use the DoDAF successfully without at least trying a small project and getting feedback from experienced practitioners.
What qualities does a student need to possess in order to be successful in EA?
The most important qualities a student needs in order to be successful in EA are the ability to think logically and communicate well. The DoDAF requires a logical approach to modeling key elements of an enterprise. An architect doesn’t need to master all the modeling techniques required to develop a DoDAF compliant architecture. What the architect needs is the ability to determine what data is required to address the architectural issues and questions of the potential users of the architecture (i.e., the architecture stakeholders) and thus determine an adequate set of models to capture this data. The architect also needs to communicate with the architecture stakeholders both to determine how the architecture will be used and to convey the findings and recommendations in terms that the stakeholders can understand.
Interviewed by John P. Zachman 09/2013