Architecture – who is John Zachman?


Who is John Zachman?  (from


John A. Zachman is the originator of the “Framework for Enterprise Architecture” which has received broad acceptance around the world as an integrative framework, or “periodic table” of descriptive representations for Enterprises. Mr. Zachman is not only known for this work on Enterprise Architecture, but is also known for his early contributions to IBM's Information Strategy methodology (Business Systems Planning) as well as to their Executive team planning techniques (Intensive Planning).


 Also generally known as the “Zachman Framework”, it provides a structure for describing a Business from a high strategic scope view to a detailed implementation view, across 6 perspectives: Data (what), Function (how), Network (where), People (who), Time (when), and Motivation (why).

See to see the latest version of the Framework. The structure is the same but he has been updating the language that describes it.

Zachman is clear that he provided a framework, but not the modeling techniques used to populate an architecture. I would like to offer common modeling techniques that can be used to do just that thing; my definition of ‘model’ is very wide, it is anything that is used to represent a thing in the real world; this could be anything from a complex data model to a simple list of things of interest to the business.

 So, a first cut at Strategic Scope could be a set of lists:

  • List of Things of Interest to the Business
  • List of Processes the Business Performs
  • List of Locations in Which The Business Operates
  • List of Organizations of Importance to the Business
  • List of Events/Cycle of Significance to the Business
  • List of Business Goals/Strategies

 Just defining the items in these lists is a big step in defining the many parts of an organization; after which you can begin to gather information that support the rest of the Zachman views, from Business Model down to Implementation.

 My next posts will start to look at each component of the Business Model view, and what techniques can be used in each of the cells.

Excerpted from “Cascade: Better practices for effective delivery of information systems in a multi-project environment”, see more at

…and more about me at

David Wright

Related Download
Virtualization: For Victory Over IT Complexity Sponsor: HPE
Virtualization: For Victory Over IT Complexity
Download this white paper to learn how to effectively deploy virtualization and create your own high-performance infrastructures
Register Now