What is the TOGAF Architecture Development Method?

An overview of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (TOGAF ADM)

The TOGAF ADM forms the core of TOGAF. It is a reliable, proven method for developing an Enterprise Architecture that meets the business needs of an organisation, utilising the other elements of TOGAF, and other architectural assets available to the organisation.

The TOGAF Architecture Development Method describes the process of moving from the TOGAF Foundation Architecture to an organisation-specific architecture, leveraging the elements of the TOGAF Foundation Architecture and other relevant architectural components and building blocks along the way.


Adapting the ADM

The ADM is a generic method for architecture development, which has been designed to deal with most system and organisational requirements. However, it will often be necessary to modify or extend the ADM to suit specific needs. One of the tasks before applying the ADM to a specific situation will be to review the ADM and tailor it if necessary to the circumstances of the enterprise concerned. This activity may well produce an organisation-specific version of the ADM.


The stages of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (TOGAF ADM)

The basic structure of the TOGAF ADM is shown in this diagram. Throughout the TOGAF ADM cycle, there needs to be frequent validation of outputs against original expectations, both those from the whole TOGAF ADM cycle, and those from the particular phases of the method.

Diagram of the basic structure of the TOGAF ADM

Though the TOGAF ADM diagram has 10 stages, it is essentially a 4 step process:

  1. Tailor TOGAF to suit your needs: This is a one-time activity to be done before you start adopting TOGAF for your organisation.
  2. Define scope of work and prepare for rollout: This activity is made of 6 distinct steps, all of which are covered in our TOGAF training course.
  3. Oversee architecture development and implementation: How the actual architecture development and implementation is done within the scope of TOGAF.
  4. Manage post-implementation change: Any major change can trigger off another cycle of the ADM.


The TOGAF ADM is covered in detail during our globally renowned TOGAF 9.1 Certification training course. For more information on the TOGAF ADM, please contact us.

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Our accredited training course covers all of the TOGAF® Standard Version 9.2 Key Learning Points as defined in the Open Group’s TOGAF® Standard Version 9.2 curriculum. Included within this are the following subject areas:

  • The new concepts introduced to TOGAF® Standard Version 9.2.
  • The business rationale behind Enterprise Architecture and TOGAF® Standard.
  • The overall structure and contents of the TOGAF® Standard Version 9.2 document and the key subject matter content.
  • The Architecture Development Method (ADM) cycle and all the phases that make up the cycle.
  • The techniques defined for use in Architecture development.
  • The Architecture Content Framework and the purpose of each of the elements.
  • The guidelines for adapting the ADM process.
  • The Enterprise Continuum and Tools.
  • The concepts, taxonomy and graphical representations of the TOGAF® Standard reference models and their application.
  • The Architecture Capability Framework.
  • The make-up of an Architecture skills framework and why it is needed

      The structure of the course is as follows:

      Structure of the TOGAF® Standard

      Part I: Introduction​

      Part II: Architecture Development Method​

      Part III: ADM Guidelines and Techniques​

      Part IV: Architecture Content Framework​

      Part V: Enterprise Continuum and Tools​

      Part VI: Architecture Capability Framework​

     Structure of the TOGAF® Standard Library

     Section 1: Foundation Documents​

     Section 2: Generic Guidelines and Techniques​

     Section 3: Industry-Specific Guidance and Techniques​

     Section 4: Organisation-Specific Guidance and Techniques​


TOGAF® is a registered trademark of The Open Group

How TOGAF Standard Version 9.2 Differs From TOGAF Standard 9.1

TOGAF Standard, Version 9.2 is a great improvement on Version 9.1. The materials and flow in the latest release now has a more understandable, direct bearing on architecture practice and architecture consulting in general. The latest release supports the primacy of business thinking in architecture rather than a focus on IT, which was often how enterprise architecture has been seen. 

The major changes that have been released in TOGAF Standard Version 9.2 include;

  • The structure of TOGAF is now treated as an "eco-system" that includes the core TOGAF Body of Knowledge but also adds links to additional guides, some of which can lead to further credentials with which you can showcase your achievements.
  • The description of the Architecture Development Method precludes a mistaken ‘waterfall’ interpretation and plays to the agile ideas that TOGAF has always supported.
  • The initial phase, Preliminary, now includes a tools strategy with much wider reference to tools beyond architecture such as business modelling and management including repository management, and governance.
  • The first phase in the TOGAF cycle, Architecture Vision, is now explicit about important, early modelling such as Value Chains, Value Streams and Capabilities.  This supports the primacy of business thinking in architecture rather than a focus on IT which was often how enterprise architecture has been seen.
  • The Business Architecture phase has been expanded and is supported by more useful entities and artefacts.
  • The monolithic 9.1 Specification has been slimmed down and surrounded by a useful ecosystem of guides, most of which are geared to the practitioner.  Some of the guides have also been extended, security is an example.
  • Definitions and terms have been worked over for clarity and simplification with extraneous or explanatory material shown as a note

What does TOGAF Standard 9.2 mean if you are certified in TOGAF Standard 9.1

TOGAF 9 certified practitioners do not have to sit a new exam (as was the case with the bridge from 8 to 9). The additional or changed material is extremely useful and valuable to learn. If you would like to show that you have “up-to-date knowledge”, then The Open Group has introduced the TOGAF Essentials 2018 credential that leads to an open badge.

TOGAF Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to view the most frequently asked questions relating to TOGAF

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