Everything you need to know about managing the TOGAF® ADM cycle
with an Enterprise Architecture Management Tool.
Start Now



What is TOGAF®?

TOGAF®—The Open Group Architectural Framework—has been used by enterprise architects (EAs) as a common language to plot IT development strategies for more than 25 years. It was developed in 1995 to help enterprises and enterprise architects align on cross-departmental projects in a structured manner to facilitate key business objectives. In particular, according to the Open Group Architectural Forum, TOGAF®’s fundamental aim is to support critical business needs by:
  • Ensuring that everyone speaks the same language.
  • Avoiding lock-in to proprietary solutions by standardizing on open methods for an enterprise architecture.
  • Saving time and money, and utilizing resources more effectively.
  • Achieving demonstrable ROI.

And to ensure that the above is enacted in systematic and repeatable ways, a customizable process entitled the TOGAF® Architectural Development Method (ADM) can be followed in various stages to manage the requirements of any large-scale IT modernization endeavor.

Nine Use Cases Solved With Enterprise Architecture [White Paper]: Find out  where Enterprise Architects add value and learn how to address post merger  harmonization, change from monolith to microservices, IT technology risk, data  compliance, integration architectures and more. »

What are the values of TOGAF® and the ADM process?

TOGAF®’s ADM process is specifically designed to accelerate workflow across four domains of enterprise architecture:
  • Business architecture, which is responsible for mapping the relationships between a business’s operational hierarchies, policies, capabilities, and initiatives.
  • Applications architecture, which is responsible for defining relevant applications to handle company data and the ways in which to implement and deploy these applications within the overall infrastructure.
  • Data architecture, which is responsible for defining the rules and standards to store and integrate data.
  • Technical architecture, which defines platforms, service, and all surrounding technology components to serve as a reference for development teams.

Throughout the nine stages of the TOGAF® ADM process, these four architectural domains become iteratively developed to create a balanced architecture capable of securing organizational changes. An industry-agnostic process, this method is intended to limit guesswork and foster maturity in enterprise architecture programs—all of which while amassing enterprise-specific architectural repositories to support future projects.

TOGAF Architecture Development Method

What are the challenges of TOGAF® in modern IT environments?

TOGAF® is currently in version 9.2, and with its evolving library of definitions and symbology comes the unavoidable struggle to align to the framework in an agile manner. Much of this is due to TOGAF®’s comprehensive architectural compliance review process, a checklist involving hundreds of items from categories such as: information and systems management; hardware and operating systems; software services and middleware; applications (business, infrastructure, and integration specifications); and information management.

New call-to-action

Yet while compliance is an indispensable element of architectural governance, religiously adhering to the framework’s standards is a difficult task for any enterprise architecture program. As such, for modern organizations wishing to efficiently uphold TOGAF®’s best practices, it’s all but necessary to gain the participation of stakeholders throughout an organization in order to efficiently assess and catalog IT projects. Agile and TOGAF® are indeed capable of co-existing, but in order for it to happen, collaborative pathways for standardizing IT entities among teams must become established.

An agile approach to TOGAF®

A popular solution for bridging the gap between TOGAF® and agile architectural frameworks are shared platforms for co-operatively performing enterprise architecture management. LeanIX’s own Enterprise Architecture Suite (EA Suite), for example, offers functionality to collaboratively define, implement, and track IT entities at every phase of the ADM process.

In particular, its benefits can be variously applied in these manners:


Foundation (Phase A)

When laying the first bricks of the ADM, one must: (1) define an architectural vision; (2) examine the scope of the entire project; and then (3) plan which stakeholders are to be involved. The LeanIX EA Suite offers a flexible data model capable of supporting any TOGAF® project.

Your company’s particular strategy and business model will determine the scope of your architectural vision, so consider attaching your TOGAF® "Request for Architecture Work" and "Architecture Definition Document" right inside a LeanIX Fact Sheet—the single-page repositories for all information on architectural objects—to supplement Phase A.

Project Fact Sheets can also store central information for your ADM. These pages can be customized to display estimated set-up and implementation timelines, budget costs, providers involved, and all related applications plus their associated business capabilities.

At this early stage of the ADM, the LeanIX EA Suite can facilitate TOGAF® with:

Fact Sheet subscriptions

List the names and roles associated to the properties of your operation by assigning individuals to a Fact Sheet—whether as “Responsible” or “Observer” or “Accountable.” This is a simple way to see who is involved in your architecture’s development and for what reason. As well, Fact Sheets can be configured to not only show high-level strategic drivers but also the individuals responsible for the applications under review.

Example: For the Fact Sheet "AC Management V1" below, three individuals with different job functions and responsibilities have been attached to the application. It's therefore clear who is in charge of maintaining the data (see Image 1).

TOGAF IT management role setting

Image 1: IT management role setting

Source: LeanIX GmbH

View of associated project and application stakeholders in the LeanIX EA Suite.

Baseline and Target Architecture (Phase B, C, D)

After setting your architectural sights in Phase A, it's time to determine what gaps exist between your baseline and target architecture (i.e., what you have versus what you want). From business to information systems to technology architectures, Phases B, C, and D are when you reveal what's actually sitting inside your operation.

This is when the following reports from the LeanIX EA Suite work best.

Realizing Post-Merger Synergies in Your IT Application Landscape [White Paper]: Find out what methods for consolidating IT Application Landscapes exist and  what steps should be taken to consolidate an IT landscape from a merger. »

Application Landscape

Once applications have been mapped to business capabilities and contextualized with information on how they're being used, a strategic overview of your application landscape can be conducted to determine what benefit they might serve in future architectures. Conclude whether applications should be left untouched based on usage levels and value, modernized through investments to preserve ongoing business value, merged or substituted because of redundancy, or eliminated altogether (see Image 2).

TOGAF Application landscape report

Image 2: LeanIX Application Landscape report

Source: LeanIX GmbH

An Application Landscape report presenting the Technical Fit of an operation's applications through five status levels ("Inappropriate", "Unreasonable", "Adequate", "Fully appropriate", and "n/a").

Data Flow Visualizer

A Data Flow Visualizer details how data objects are processed and exchanged. Multiple levels of technical attributes are available within the visualizer to help enterprise architects gain comprehensive knowledge of an application’s full integration.

Look below at the ways in which "AC Management V1" is tied to other services in an operation. It directly feeds into "HR Admin", which in turn communicates to "Payroll Europe" in order to provide data for "Salary Compact" (as seen in Image 3).

TOGAF Data Flow

Image 3: LeanIX Data Flow

Source: LeanIX GmbH

A Data Flow visualizer charting an application's ("AC Management V1") integrations and processes.

IT Component Matrix

Inspect IT components (e.g., Database, Operating System, Web Server, etc.) and their corresponding technical attributes and service lifecycles from across all operational hierarchies within an IT Component Matrix report. Of note, the LeanIX EA Suite employs technology stacks to categorize IT components for complete overviews of technology landscapes. For example, as shown in Image 4 below, the lifecycles of services contributing to a provider can be reviewed.

TOGAF IT Component Matrix

Image 4: LeanIX IT Component Matrix

Source: LeanIX GmbH

An IT Component Matrix report showing varying technical components in an operation (arranged by provider and technical stack).

Transformation Roadmap (Phase E, F)

After architecture is effectively described and targeted, Phases E and F are when to concretely define future steps. What's changing with this architectural re-design—and are blueprints capable of guiding stakeholders?

With the LeanIX EA Suite, users can design technology roadmaps to avoid obsolescence and foresee value using:

Project Portfolio

As-is, does a project present value to an overall operation? A LeanIX Project Portfolio report groups applications according to business value and project risk to identify current needs. If an IT manager wants to know which applications to keep aboard or jettison, appraisals can be made by consulting the report (like in the example below).

As seen in Image 5, it appears there is a clustering of architectural data posing "Significant benefit" to the value of the business—but also a problematic grouping offering only "Marginal benefit.

TOGAF Project Portfolio

Image 5: LeanIX Project Portfolio

Source: LeanIX GmbH

A Project Portfolio report showing Business Value versus Project Risk.

Application Matrix

Determine when indispensable applications are about to be phased out of service—or if they have been already—with the lifecycles view of the LeanIX Application Matrix report. Take note of the below image which shows applications listed by department and country/region. Brazil's "AC Management V1" service will end in 2019 but "AC Management V2" is queued up to replace it.

There are many other views in addition to lifecycles, too. Sort by Functional Fit for high-level details on the quality of an application to determine whether it is "Unreasonable", "Insufficient", "Appropriate", or "Perfect".

TOGAF Application Matrix

Image 6: LeanIX Application Matrix

Source: LeanIX GmbH

The lifecycles of an operation's applications, arranged by year and by working status, as seen in the LeanIX Application Matrix report.

An agile framework to implement TOGAF with LeanIX [Poster]: A step-by-step  illustration of how to follow TOGAF’s principles with a lean EA tool.  »
Application Roadmap

It is important to know if successors are in place for when applications reach their end of life. A LeanIX Application Roadmap report shows users, in clear terms, what is active and for how much longer—and what is standing by to replace it. Additionally, an Application Roadmap lists the lifecycles of any application’s corresponding components.

In the roadmap below, we can see the lifecycle timeline of "AC Management V1" plus its related successors. Though it seems to be on a collision course into phase-out (yellow) territory, the application's replacement ("AC Management V2") is assured to come online to ensure a clean transition.

TOGAF Application Roadmap

Image 7: LeanIX Application Roadmap

Source: LeanIX GmbH

A LeanIX Application Roadmap report displaying, by year, the service lifecycles and successors of applications.

Implementation (Phase G, H)

Everything is decided. Visions have been drawn up and needs have been perfectly expressed to builders. This is the time to implement an architecture.

Closely monitor its construction using LeanIX’s collaborative methods for change management. The LeanIX EA Suite enables such tracking at the final two phases of the TOGAF® ADM with:


Inside configurable drag-and-drop dashboards tied to your LeanIX EA Suite home page, both new and pending actions related to projects can be observed. Dashboards present insights into what's needed to govern architectures, all in one place, to direct workflows and enable responsive EA behavior.

TOGAF dashboard

Image 8: LeanIX dashboards

Source: LeanIX GmbH

Dashboards in the LeanIX EA Suite showing "Application per Business Criticality" and "Data Sensitivity" statistics.

Survey Workflows

Information needed to update projects can be collected from all responsible parties without sending individual mailings. Using LeanIX Surveys, EAs can request current data on pressing topics like GDPR, save the information in templates for re-use, and have the results returned in clear terms—even while the survey is still running.

As seen in the image below, in an example relating to IT security standards, users can add customized parameters to LeanIX Surveys.

TOGAF Survey

Image 9: LeanIX Survey

Source: LeanIX GmbH

A look at a survey template ("Assessment of application security according to IT-Grundschutz") in the LeanIX EA Suite.


Application Landscape

Inspect the lifecycles of past, current, or planned company-wide applications. View this data directly in LeanIX EA Suite or download it right to a .pdf sheet.

In the example below (Image 10), many applications assigned to the Customer Relationship Management category are in the "Phase out" or "End of life" stages.

TOGAF Application landscape

Image 10: LeanIX Application Landscape

Source: LeanIX GmbH

The lifecycles of applications in the Application Landscape report. 

How to get a TOGAF® certification?

One of the surest ways to understand the transformative benefits of the LeanIX EA Suite is to take time learning the fundamentals of TOGAF®. To do so, a TOGAF® 9.2 certification can be achieved upon passing two qualification exams from the Open Group, and training can be conducted either independently through self-directed courses or an accredited program.

The two available certifications from TOGAF® are:

  • TOGAF® 9.2 Foundation (which validates that an individual understands “TOGAF® terminology, structure, and basic concepts, and understands the core principles of Enterprise Architecture and the TOGAF® standard”).
  • TOGAF® 9.2 Certified (which validates that in addition to the TOGAF® 9.2 Foundation, the candidate is able to analyze and apply this knowledge).

For more information on becoming TOGAF® certified, visit the Open Group’s website here.



Today's agile approaches to IT management owe much of their success to the architectural standards set first by TOGAF®. However, the rush to digitalization in thriving modern businesses require enterprise architects—both new and old-school—to recognize all best practices in order to truly integrate information, business, and technology networks.

Using reports and data collection methods in the LeanIX EA Suite to streamline the phases of the TOGAF® ADM is a way to capitalize on decades' worth of EA best practices all at once.

Whether building the (1) foundations of your architectural vision using comprehensive Fact Sheets, (2) assessing current-to-future business infrastructures with Application Landscape views, (3) making investment decisions on applications using detailed metrics and matrices, and (4) overseeing implementation with configurable dashboards and surveys, the LeanIX EA Suite is designed to satisfy every breed of enterprise architect.

Re-Invent Your IT With a Lean Enterprise Architecture Framework [Poster]:  Align Business and IT for Enterprise Architecture to succeed and achieve a  simple, lean and structured overview! »