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Enterprise Architecture Division (EAD)

Who Are We?

The Enterprise Architecture Division provides a planning concept and delivery process designed to help translate business strategies into mission results. We leverage data as a strategic asset so that architecture becomes a tool to make data-driven decisions that optimize resources, identify duplication, and cost saving opportunities. The EAD team supports the creation of an integrated, tiered Enterprise Architecture (EA) that supports improved planning and risk management at both the agency and Department levels. Additionally, the team supports standardization on common computing platforms to enhance interoperability and reduce cost of ownership; and improving the USDA’s planning and decision-making by more closely aligning EA activities to the IT Capital Planning processes. EAD provides and maintains for USDA a centralized EAVE (Enterprise Architecture Visioning Environment) that aligns IT assets to the Federal Enterprise Architecture reference models. Through its data collection and reporting capabilities, the EAVE enables organizations to better identify collaboration, modernization and transformation opportunities. The EAD reinforces the adoption and documentation of technical standards, making it easier for USDA agencies to realize economies-of-scale cost savings based on aggregated purchases of like products and services. Additionally, the EA helps USDA identify opportunities for business reuse and sharing of existing infrastructure and services, reducing operational and overhead costs.

What Do We Do?

Enterprise Architecture gives the Department a bird’s eye view of the whole organization – and the ecosystem in which it operates both at a high level and detailed level as it matures overtime. EA is unique from other disciplines within the IT Management Framework in that it:

  • Encompasses the whole mission and operational scope of the Department
  • Represents the Department’s ecosystem at a high level of detail
  • Is based on a metamodel comprised of modular components making it reusable across the practice area in a wide range of scenarios

Enterprise Architecture informs and translates strategies and business model changes into a set of coordinated actions needed to make them real via a roadmap. It has a special role between IT Strategy and IT Execution. Consider it a bridge between the two as it defines priorities and scope for translating strategy into operational reality.

  • Enabling an Actionable Architecture - Supports Agencies in making informed decisions concerning technology investments by implementing an “actionable architecture” which takes enterprise architecture from being a goal and moves it to becoming a platform for decision support. Actionable architecture brings architecture to the forefront as a way to centralize and visualize relationships among systems, people, processes and data to make smarter decisions.
  • Business / IT Strategy - Conducts enterprise data capture and analysis to identify IT duplication, potential shared service opportunities, and cost savings including:
    • Maintain USDA’s IT Asset Inventory (Systems/Applications)
    • Enterprise Data Architecture and Inventory
    • Business Architecture & Business Capability mapping / assessments
    • Application Rationalization
    • Standards Architecture
  • Data-Driven Decision Support - Provides subject matter expertise and analysis for data driven IT investment decisions and EA Reviews to ensure standards and reduce duplicative investments including:
    • Develop and maintain the EA Repository (EAVE) tool to ensure USDA understands what it has and makes data driven decisions
    • IT modernization/transformation strategic planning
    • Standards profile development and reviews
    • Portfolio Review Dashboard creation and analysis
  • IT Governance - Supports IT Governance across USDA via:
    • CIO Council EA Committee (EAC) leadership
    • AARs and EA focused IITGF (IAB) Gate Reviews
    • Technology Business Management (TBM)
    • FITARA support
    • Integrated Data Call coordination and analysis
    • Congressional, OMB, GAO data calls and audits (represent USDA before oversight bodies to instill confidence and preserve department autonomy)
  • EA Policy and Guidance - Develops and administers departmental principles, policies, and objectives supporting the Enterprise Architecture. Develops policy and guidance; and provides technical assistance for the development of agency component architectures that are extensions of the USDA Enterprise Architecture.
  • Ensures Architecture Compliance - Coordinates and monitors agencies' technology acquisitions and information systems development to ensure interoperability and integration among components of the department-wide architecture.

What Do We Deliver?

  • Annually - Coordinates submission of the Departments Enterprise Roadmap to OMB.
  • Annually - Coordinates the annual IT Asset Inventory report for submission to OMB.
  • Quarterly - Coordinate EA Integrated Data Calls (IDC) to assist OCIO and Mission Areas, Agencies and Offices as a continual method to obtain and evaluate enterprise efforts within USDA.
  • Quarterly - Coordinate updates to Mission Areas, Agencies, and Offices utilizing the Enterprise Architecture Repository (EAVE) to capture, assess and publish USDA’s IT asset inventory and architecture.
  • Monthly - Leads the CIOC EA Committee (EAC) consisting of USDA Department and Agency Chief Architects.
  • Weekly - Leads several rotating EAC Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) that involve department and agency representatives – Business Architecture, Data Architecture, Technology Architecture, Standards Architecture, Application Rationalization, etc.
  • Technical/Data Standards Profile
    The standards profile defines the technical, operational, and business standards, guidance, and policy applicable to the architecture being described. As well as identifying applicable technical standards, the standards profile also documents the policies and standards that apply to the operational or business context.

    The standards profile collates the various systems and services, standards, and rules that implement and constrain the choices that can be or were made in the design and implementation of an Architectural Description. It delineates the systems, services, Standards, and rules that apply. The technical standards govern what hardware and software may be implemented and on what system. The standards that are cited may be international such as ISO standards, national standards, or organizational specific standards.

To Learn More about EAD Service Offerings, Contact

Adrian Carter, Director,