- Series: MIS
- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Course Technology; 1 edition (April 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0619064463
- ISBN-13: 978-0619064464
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework (MIS) 1st Edition
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I like this book because it is business-focused, and painstakingly describes the Zachman Framework and how it clearly provides a multidimensional view of business-technology alignment. It also reflects the latest thinking with respect to the framework, including Zachman DNA (Depth iNtegrating Architecture), which is missing from "Enterprise Architecture Planning" I cited above. It also contains some unique perspectives that I haven't found in other books, such as how to use the framework outside of IT (Appendix C), and how to map careers to the framework (Appendix D).
What is missing from this book, and others like it, is a disclosure of the dark side of the framework if an organization fully commits to it. One such problem is once you've mapped your enterprise architecture to the Zachman Framework's matrix, a change in any cell will cause a ripple effect throughout the matrix. As time goes on this effect becomes a barrier to changes or requires high maintenance to keep the architecture in synch with the business and technology components. This does not diminish the value of the Zachman Framework as a way to view the enterprise, but should forewarn you that implementing it as a principle methodology is a step that should be carefully considered before committing.
That said, this book is one I would highly recommend to anyone who is considering the Zachman Framework, or who is seeking an approach to clearly viewing an enterprise from multiple dimensions in order to cut through complexity and see the big picture. I also recommend that you visit the Zachman Institute (see ASIN B00016NEXI) to see the latest work and additional information.
On the minus side, after six hundred pages I still don't understand the Zachman framework (take the labeled fast-track through the book to shorten it). This book is definitely not for practitioners and is of questionable value to beginners like myself. It's filled with entertaining examples and is fun to read, but I found the explanations inadequate. If you're the type who can read examples and have that "ah ha" moment where the lesson leaps out at you without being explained this book might be perfect for you. If you have more of a linear approach to learning, I suggest looking somewhere else.
The largest problem though is that the framework itself doesn't make sense. The book (and attached articles by Zachman) makes a big deal out of each cell being complete in and of itself and not duplicated by any other cell. But then the definitions and examples (both by O'Rouke et al. and in Zachman's articles) blur the cells into each other. For example, along the top of the framework there is Who, What, Why, When, and Where, each of which is supposed to be unique, with no overlap with other columns. The glossary defines What as "items like employees...." and Who as "people, including organizational descriptions..." What exactly, is the difference between "employees" and "people"? If you want an answer, you'll have to find it somewhere other than this book.
This book makes the framework seem one of those ideas which are great in theory and useless in practice. But since I know practitioners who do actually use the framework this may be a failure to explain and not a failure of the framework.
P.S. If you do get this book, the article on the CD titled, "Conceptual, Logical, Physical: It's Simple" helped clarify a few things for me and I suggest reading it.
I opened the book at random and found as a typical example:
Physical symptoms of culture shock include:
* Too much or too little sleep
* Eating too much or having no appetite at all
* Frequent minor illness
This sort of thing goes on for nearly seven hundred pages. Only a couple of pages directly address the Zachman Framework.
I ordered the book before it was published and chewed through a couple of chapters before deciding that it wasn't worth any more of my time. I did skip read through the rest of it to make sure there's nothing of value here. There isn't.