What Makes TOGAF 10 a Valuable Contribution

TOGAF 10 was recently released. Major changes to the old version include a restructuring of the content to allow for easier understanding, fewer inconsistencies, and fewer duplications.

The modularization of the content has progressed as well. There are now six individual documents forming the TOGAF Fundamental content and currently 23 more documents in the TOGAF Series Guides. Similar to a microservices architecture, this allows for single content pieces to be used or amended easier and new content to be quickly added as well.

The TOGAF Standard now officially includes the TOGAF Series Guides which have been added to the library throughout the last years. While this seems a minor change at first, it means that the TOGAF Standard has now content that is subject to much shorter release and update cycles. The Open Group already stated that this will be the case in the future.

In addition, the new version provides an updated and more elaborated view on central topics, such as information and master data management, agility, resilience, and adaptability.

Last but not least, the TOGAF glossary content has received an update. Definitions have been added, changed, or removed.

Why Was a New TOGAF Version 10 Necessary?

A major critique about TOGAF was that it contained quite old content that in large parts was outdated. For instance, older versions did not address Digitalization, Cloud, and Agile topics sufficiently or from a decade-old perspective.

Also, the TOGAF Standard was hard to read, way too long, and had a rather monolithic structure. The TOGAF Standard was hardly changed in version 9.2, but new and more modern content was established via series guides and added to The Open Group Library. In consequence, those sources, besides content from other organizations and companies, became much more relevant as input for architecture work.

It is great to see that The Open Group addressed many of those critiques with version 10.

How Does TOGAF 10 Change the Relevance of the TOGAF Standard?

I analyzed the relevance of TOGAF 9.2 in detail in another few posts. My conclusion showed mixed results with particular aspects of TOGAF being outdated and others still relevant.

Fundamental TOGAF Content

Content that I believe is still relevant today is mainly about the fundamental architectural approach, frameworks, metamodel, and governance. Reviewing the fundamental content of TOGAF reveals that this content makes up for the largest parts in the new version.

TOGAF 10 Certification

In terms of signaling through a TOGAF 10 certification, I don’t think that anything changed. For Enterprise Architects seeking new job opportunities, having a TOGAF certification has always been very beneficial. The new release will not change anything for the better, or the worse.

TOGAF 10 Content Updates

A lot of content that I perceived to be outdated has been updated in the new version, such as content about Digital and Agile. Both topics have a dedicated series guide now. In addition, topics such as privacy, architecture services, architecture alternatives, and business scenarios received additional sections or descriptions.

I find it especially valuable that the TOGAF Glossary has been updated. For many organizations, even those that don’t strictly follow TOGAF standards, the definitions build the foundation for their organization-wide alignments and common basis. It is good to see that those are now up to date and compatible with today´s IT environments.

Business and IT Audience in TOGAF 10

Last but not least, the new release specifies the audience of the TOGAF Standard. Different roles are addressed separately to customize their individual experience with the content. These include Enterprise Architecture practitioners, leaders of Enterprise Architecture teams, and sponsors of Enterprise Architecture teams. This has been a good idea because Enterprise Architecture becomes more and more omnipresent in organizations and business stakeholders nowadays actively execute Enterprise Architecture activities. If you are part of such a team, I recommend to have a fundamental knowledge about TOGAF.

Is TOGAF 10 Worth It?

Naturally, the new version does not fully cover my ideas and improvement desires. For instance, the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) still has the same phases and does not reflect today’s architectural priorities in terms of security and data architecture. I would also prefer to see business stakeholders even more involved than they are today.

Yet, the new TOGAF version made a very good impression on me. Lots of disadvantages and critiques have been addressed. TOGAF, as an understandable and compatible framework, as well as a supporting and guiding set of documentation, became much more relevant and valuable.

The new release made TOGAF more valuable through the content updates, especially because of the easier way to find the content you need, the ease to apply parts of the whole framework, and the new structure which allows for more frequent updates of the Standard.

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