REVIEW: “Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework”, Carol O’Rourke/Neal Fishman/Warren Selkow

BKEAUTZF.RVW   20091107

“Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework”, Carol O’Rourke/Neal Fishman/Warren Selkow, 2003, 0-619-06446-3
%A   Carol O’Rourke
%A   Neal Fishman
%A   Warren Selkow
%C   25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA   02210
%D   2003
%G   0-619-06446-3
%I   Thomson Learning Inc.
%O   Audience i Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P   716 p. + CD-ROM
%T   “Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework”

The preface states that this is a text for various courses in business management and information systems, and a guide for business and education professionals.  There is also a quick and dirty introduction to the framework, mentioning the perspectives (rows of the framework) and aspects (columns), but not describing what they are.  (For those who want to understand the framework itself, the book does provide, as an appendix, Zachman’s original paper from the “IBM Systems Journal.”  It is clearer and gives a much better idea of the intent and use of the framework.  For those who have not used it before, the framework is a two-dimensional breakdown model, with the stages of project
management as the vertical axis, and the W5+H interrogatives [what, how, where, who, when, and why] as the columns, also labelled data, function, network, people, time, and motivation.)

Part one of the book, consisting only of chapter one, supposedly provides the reasons for the framework.  This consists of another brief outline, and a great deal of promotional material.  “Examples,” ranging from the alphabet to religion purport to illustrate the
structure, but are, instead, confusing and distracting.  The sporadic outbursts of humour also divert attention from the central themes, rather than supporting them.

Part two outlines the organization of the Zachman Framework’s rows, or perspectives.  Chapter two examines the concept (which may also be referred to in different versions of the Zachman model as scope or context) or planning stage, and the six examples follow the interrogative aspects.  The owner (aka business model/concept) or requirements phase is dealt with in chapter three, but the generic material on business, and shorter case studies on the topic, are not as clear in terms of the framework.  Things become even more confusing in chapter four, where the idea of the design phase (system
model/logical) is surrounded by miscellaneous examples seemingly related to psychology.  Stories that appear to be even more randomly chosen comprise the content on the builder (technology model/physical) or implementation stage, in chapter five.  Chapter six is entitled “Systems Development,” which deals with the subcontractor (detailed representations/out-of-context) or implementation stage.  Although there are interesting points about management, the material is, again, unstructured and confusing.

Chapter seven finally attempts to describe the framework in detail and context, and to provide a rationale for using it.

Part three consists of chapter eight, ostensibly about implementing (I suppose this means using) the framework.  There are lots of management tips and points, but no real structure, or indication of how the framework is to be applied.  (There is also an apparent attempt to add a third dimension to the Zachman grid, but this is not defined.)

If you want to get a good idea of the Zachman framework, you are probably best to go to Zachman’s original paper.  The intent and structure of the Zachman’s article, and the explanation of the model, is much clearer than this mass of verbiage and examples.  As noted, the paper is available as appendix E, but it is also available on the Internet, such as at

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009    BKEAUTZF.RVW   20091107