SAP Logo LeanIX is now part of SAP

Enterprise Architecture Maturity Models & Assessment

Enterprise Architecture (EA) maturity is pivotal for aligning IT with business goals and driving transformation. Read further to enhance your understanding of models and how the assessment works.

Definition of enterprise architecture maturity

Enterprise architecture (EA) maturity refers to the degree of formality and optimization of processes within an organization's EA practice. It indicates how well an organization's current EA practices support its overall business strategy and objectives.

As organizations evolve, so does their approach to enterprise architecture, moving from ad-hoc and reactive processes to more structured, proactive, and integrated ones. The maturity of an organization's EA can be assessed using various models, which provide a structured approach to evaluate current capabilities and guide future improvements.

Importance of EA maturity in digital transformation

In today's rapidly changing digital landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to innovate, improve efficiency, and stay competitive.

Enterprise architects play a pivotal role in this transformation by providing a structured framework to align IT strategy with business goals. A mature EA practice ensures:

  • Alignment with business goals: Ensures that IT initiatives directly support business objectives and strategies.
  • Optimized IT investments: Helps organizations prioritize IT investments based on business needs and potential returns.
  • Reduced redundancy: Identifies and eliminates redundant processes and systems, leading to cost savings.
  • Enhanced agility: Enables organizations to respond quickly to market changes and new opportunities.
  • Risk management: Identifies potential risks in IT initiatives and provides strategies to mitigate them.

As organizations embark on their digital transformation journeys, the maturity of their EA practices becomes crucial. A mature EA practice not only guides the transformation but also ensures that it delivers tangible business value.

📚 Related: Enterprise Architecture Governance and 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Architecture Tools



Increase the Value of your EA Practice

  • Gain a profound understanding of why EA is relevant and what are the drivers of EA
  • How EA can support the most relevant goals of the business
  • Gain insights into recommendations for actionable wins and best practices for the long-term evolution of your enterprise architecture
Watch now
Interview Dominik Sohnle on EA Maturity Modeling

Understanding EA maturity assessment models

Assessing the maturity of an organization's EA practice is essential to understand its current capabilities and identify areas for improvement. Various models have been developed over the years to assist organizations in this endeavor.

Here are the overview and similarities between some of the most prominent models:

1. LeanIX's EA Maturity Model

LeanIX's model emphasizes a structured journey through EA maturity, focusing on dimensions like technology, data, organization, and use cases. It provides a roadmap for organizations to evolve from initial stages to a fully integrated EA practice that drives continuous transformation.

2. The Open Group Architecture Forum (TOGAF) Architecture Maturity Models

TOGAF, developed by The Open Group, is one of the most widely used frameworks for enterprise architecture. It offers a maturity model that evaluates the maturity of architecture disciplines within an organization. The model focuses on:

  • The robustness of the architecture discipline.
  • The degree to which architecture processes are institutionalized.
  • The integration of the architecture discipline with other business and IT processes.

3. National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model

NASCIO's model is tailored for state governments, emphasizing the alignment of IT resources with state business needs. It provides a roadmap for states to progress from a limited awareness of EA to a fully mature practice that's integrated into daily operations.

4. Gartner's ITScore Overview for Enterprise Architecture

Gartner's ITScore provides a holistic assessment of an organization's EA capabilities. It evaluates the maturity of the EA discipline, the effectiveness of its processes, and its alignment with business objectives. The model offers actionable insights to help organizations advance their EA maturity.

5. Enterprise Architecture Assessment Framework (EAAF) by the US Federal Government Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

The EAAF, developed by the OMB, is tailored for federal agencies. It evaluates the maturity of an agency's EA practice in terms of its ability to effectively support capital planning and investment control activities. The framework emphasizes alignment between IT investments and agency missions.

Similarities between models

While each model has its unique features and focus areas, there are common threads that run through them:

  • Structured progression: All models emphasize a journey through different stages or levels of maturity, from initial to optimized stages.
  • Alignment with business goals: A key objective of all models is to ensure that the EA practice supports and aligns with organizational objectives.
  • Holistic assessment: The models consider various dimensions of EA, from processes and tools to people and culture.
  • Actionable insights: The models provide guidance on how to progress to higher levels of maturity, offering actionable recommendations for improvement.


Key dimensions used in enterprise architecture maturity assessment

Understanding dimensions in an EA maturity assessment is crucial as they form the foundation upon which the maturity levels are evaluated.

These dimensions provide a structured approach to assessing various facets of an organization's EA practice. Here's a deep dive into the key dimensions:


Explanation: Data is the backbone of any EA practice. It refers to the quality, structure, accessibility, and utilization of information that drives decisions in IT and EA. The data dimension is pivotal because accurate and comprehensive data ensures that the EA practice can make informed decisions, forecast trends, and identify areas of improvement.

Without reliable data, the foundation of the EA practice becomes shaky, leading to misguided strategies and initiatives.

What elements does it include?

  • Collection: How data is gathered, whether manually or through automated integrations.
  • Accessibility: The ease with which stakeholders can access and understand the data.
  • Structure: How data is organized, categorized, and stored.
  • Decision-making: The role of data in influencing and driving strategic and operational decisions.


Explanation: This dimension evaluates the maturity of technological tools, integrations, and systems that support the EA practice. Technology is a crucial dimension because the right tools and systems amplify the capabilities of the EA practice, allowing for better visualization, analysis, and strategy formulation.

In the modern digital age, leveraging technology effectively is key to ensuring that the EA practice remains agile and responsive to organizational needs.

What elements does it include?

  • Tooling: The sophistication and capabilities of the EA tools in use.
  • Integrations: How well the EA tools are integrated with other systems and platforms.
  • Automation: The extent to which manual processes have been replaced by automated workflows.
  • Innovation: The adoption of new and emerging technologies to enhance the EA practice.


Explanation: This dimension assesses how well EA is embedded within the organizational structure, processes, and culture. The organizational dimension is vital because a well-integrated EA practice ensures there is alignment between business goals and IT strategies.

When EA is deeply rooted in the organization, it becomes easier to drive transformational initiatives, gain stakeholder buy-in, and ensure that the EA strategies are in harmony with the broader organizational objectives.

What elements does it include?

  • Buy-in: The level of support and commitment from top management and stakeholders.
  • Integration: How well EA is integrated into organizational processes and workflows.
  • Culture: The organization's attitude towards EA and its role in driving transformation.
  • Governance: The structures and processes in place to oversee and guide the EA practice.

Use Case

Explanation: This dimension evaluates the application of EA in addressing specific organizational challenges and objectives. The use case dimension is essential because it ensures that the EA practice remains outcome-focused.

By identifying and executing specific use cases, the EA practice can demonstrate its value, drive tangible results, and ensure that its efforts are directly contributing to the achievement of organizational goals.

What elements does it include?

  • Identification: The process of identifying and prioritizing EA use cases.
  • Implementation: The effectiveness of the EA practice in executing identified use cases.
  • Value Delivery: The tangible benefits and outcomes derived from EA initiatives.
  • Continuous Improvement: The ongoing efforts to refine and enhance EA use cases.

These dimensions provide a comprehensive framework to assess and enhance the maturity of an organization's EA practice. By understanding and focusing on these dimensions, organizations can drive continuous improvement in their EA initiatives.

📚 Related: How to Choose the Best EA Tool for Your Needs?



Key enterprise architecture maturity levels

Before delving into the specifics of each maturity level, it's essential to understand the rationale behind our chosen levels and their respective designations. While numerous models exist in the realm of enterprise architecture, our selection is not merely a replication.

Instead, it's a culmination of insights and expertise amassed over a decade in the enterprise architecture domain. With the privilege of collaborating with over 1,100 customers, our understanding has deepened, allowing us to refine and adapt traditional models. The levels and their names reflect this rich experience, ensuring they resonate with the real-world challenges and aspirations of organizations today.

Now, let's explore each level in detail.

1. Explorer: Beginning of the EA practice journey

At the Explorer stage, organizations are in the infancy of their EA journey. The realm of enterprise architecture is a new frontier, and while there's an inkling of its potential benefits, the path forward is uncharted. The primary focus is on understanding the foundational concepts of EA and establishing a basic framework.


  • Data: Data is scattered, often residing in silos, making it challenging to obtain a holistic view. There's no structured repository or system for EA data.
  • Technology: The organization might have an EA tool, but it's used in isolation, without integrations to other systems.
  • Organization: EA is not yet recognized as a strategic function. Processes are ad-hoc, and there's limited awareness among stakeholders.
  • Use case: The organization is in the process of identifying potential EA use cases but hasn't yet implemented any.

Biggest challenges:

  • Building awareness and understanding of EA's value among stakeholders.
  • Overcoming resource constraints, both in terms of tools and personnel.
  • Establishing initial processes and data collection mechanisms.

📚 Related: Most Common EA Challenges

Best practices to transition to the next level:

  • Invest in EA education and training to build foundational knowledge.
  • Start with a pilot project to demonstrate the value of EA.
  • Engage with stakeholders to understand their needs and challenges, ensuring early buy-in.

2. Rising Star: Initial experiences in EA

Having moved past the initial exploration phase, organizations at the Rising Star stage have a clearer vision of EA's potential. They've embarked on their first EA projects and have begun to see tangible benefits. However, there's recognition that there's much more to be achieved.


  • Data: Key data sources have been identified, and there's a concerted effort to collect and centralize relevant EA data. However, manual processes dominate, leading to potential inaccuracies.
  • Technology: The organization is beginning to explore automation and integrations, enhancing the capabilities of its EA tool.
  • Organization: EA is gaining traction, with alignment with specific IT stakeholders. However, broader organizational buy-in is still a work in progress.
  • Use case: The organization has started to implement core IT use cases supported by EA, but these are in their early stages.

Biggest challenges:

  • Ensuring consistent and accurate data collection across the organization.
  • Aligning EA initiatives with broader organizational goals and strategies.
  • Expanding stakeholder engagement to ensure broader adoption of EA practices.

📚 Related: How to Position and Structure Your EA Team?

Best practices to transition to the next level:

  • Prioritize data quality and establish processes to ensure consistency.
  • Expand collaboration efforts, engaging a broader range of stakeholders in EA initiatives.
  • Set clear objectives for EA projects and measure outcomes to demonstrate value.

3. Pro: Significant impact on the organization's IT strategy

Reaching the Pro level signifies that the organization's EA practices have matured considerably. EA is no longer a peripheral function; it's central to the organization's IT strategy. The benefits of EA are evident, and there's a drive to optimize and expand its reach.


  • Data: Data is more structured and is actively used to address operational use case questions. There's a focus on ensuring data accuracy and relevance.
  • Technology: The organization has set up key automation and integrations, maximizing the utility of its EA tool.
  • Organization: EA tools and workflows are widely adopted across the organization. There's a clear recognition of the value EA brings to the table.
  • Use case: There's a strong alignment between EA initiatives and transformation projects, leading to shared operational objectives.

Biggest challenges:

  • Keeping EA practices aligned with the rapidly evolving business landscape.
  • Managing the complexities introduced by a more integrated EA ecosystem.
  • Ensuring that the broader organization remains engaged and invested in EA initiatives.

📚 Related: Enterprise Architecture Strategy and Best Practices

Best practices to transition to the next level:

  • Regularly review and realign EA goals with organizational objectives.
  • Invest in advanced tools and training to handle the complexities of a mature EA practice.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging feedback and innovation.

4. Leader: Central role in defining and achieving IT and business objectives

Organizations at the Leader stage have a robust and well-established EA practice. EA is not just influencing IT decisions; it's shaping broader business strategies. The organization recognizes EA as a pivotal function that drives innovation and transformation.


  • Data: Data quality is paramount, with rigorous processes in place to ensure accuracy. Data-driven decision-making is the norm.
  • Technology: The EA tool is seamlessly integrated into the broader IT ecosystem, facilitating data flow and collaboration.
  • Organization: EA is deeply embedded in the organizational fabric. It's valued by all stakeholders, from operational teams to top management.
  • Use case: EA initiatives drive continuous transformation, with a clear impact on business outcomes.

Biggest challenges:

  • Ensuring that EA continues to deliver tangible business value in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Managing stakeholder expectations and ensuring continued buy-in at all levels.
  • Navigating the complexities of a fully integrated EA ecosystem.

📚 Related: How to Govern your Enterprise Architecture Practice? 

Best practices to transition to the next level:

  • Stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations in EA to ensure continued relevance.
  • Engage regularly with top management to ensure alignment with strategic objectives.
  • Continuously measure and demonstrate the business value delivered by EA.

5. Legend: Fully integrated EA practice

At the Legend stage, EA is the lifeblood of the organization. It's deeply ingrained in all IT and business processes, driving innovation, transformation, and growth. EA practices are agile, adaptable, and aligned perfectly with the organization's vision and goals.


  • Data: Data is the foundation for all strategic initiatives. It's updated in real time, ensuring that decisions are based on the most current and accurate information.
  • Technology: The EA tool is the central platform for IT transformation, integrated seamlessly with all other IT systems.
  • Organization: EA is recognized as a critical success factor in all operational and strategic processes. It's a key driver of organizational success.
  • Use Case: The organization is executing strategic use cases identified by the EA practice, leading to sustained growth and innovation.

Biggest challenges:

  • Ensuring that EA practices remain agile in the face of rapid technological and business changes.
  • Managing the vast volumes of data and ensuring its continued accuracy and relevance.
  • Driving continuous innovation and transformation in an already mature environment.

📚 Related: Most Common EA Metrics

Best practices to stay at this level:

  • Stay ahead of the curve by continuously monitoring the latest trends and innovations in EA.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, ensuring that the organization remains at the forefront of EA practices.
  • Engage regularly with all stakeholders, ensuring that EA remains aligned with evolving business goals and challenges

Enterprise Architecture Success Kit



Enterprise Architecture (EA) maturity is pivotal for aligning IT with business goals and driving transformation. As organizations navigate through EA maturity levels, they enhance their understanding of IT landscapes and decision-making capabilities. The journey is influenced by organizational culture, leadership, and technology.

By recognizing the dimensions and stages of EA maturity, organizations can pinpoint their current state and strategize for growth.

Ultimately, a mature EA practice becomes an integral part of an organization's foundation, fostering innovation and agility in an ever-evolving digital landscape

Free tool

EA Maturity Assessment

Assess your EA practices in the dimensions of organization, use case, data, and technology.

Get recommendations on realizing quick wins and best practices for the long-term evolution of your enterprise architecture.

Get your result now


What is enterprise architecture maturity?

Enterprise architecture (EA) maturity refers to the degree of formalization and optimization of an organization's EA processes, practices, and capabilities. It indicates how well an organization's enterprise architecture aligns with its business goals and strategies. As organizations progress through different levels of maturity, they move from having ad-hoc and unstructured EA processes to more systematic, integrated, and strategic approaches that drive business outcomes.

What are the five stages of enterprise architecture maturity?

The five stages of enterprise architecture maturity, as derived from our extensive experience spanning over a decade working with over 1000 customers in the enterprise architecture space, are:
Explorer: This is the initial stage where organizations are just beginning their journey in establishing an Enterprise Architecture practice.
Rising Star: Organizations at this stage have gained some experience in EA and have identified areas for improvement as well as potential challenges.
Pro: At this level, EA has a significant impact on the organization's IT strategy, and the path towards EA excellence is well-defined.
Leader: Organizations at this stage see their EA practice playing a pivotal role in defining and achieving both IT and broader business objectives.
Legend: This is the pinnacle of EA maturity, where the EA practice is fully integrated into all relevant IT and business processes, driving continuous transformation throughout the organization.

What is the maturity model in EA?

A maturity model in EA provides a structured framework that allows organizations to assess their current level of EA capability, processes, and practices. It outlines a progression of stages or levels, each representing an increased level of maturity. By using the model, organizations can identify areas of improvement, set goals, and develop strategies to advance to higher levels of EA maturity. The model serves as both a benchmarking tool and a roadmap for continuous improvement in EA practices.

What is EA maturity assessment?

EA maturity assessment is a systematic evaluation process used by organizations to determine their current level of enterprise architecture maturity. It involves evaluating the organization's EA processes, practices, tools, and outcomes against a predefined maturity model. The assessment helps organizations understand their strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in their EA practice. Based on the results, organizations can develop action plans to enhance their EA capabilities, align better with business goals, and drive more value from their EA efforts.


Free Tool

EA Maturity Assessment

Assess now