The W6H Framework

Ordering stakeholder viewpoint concerns for holistic enterprise architecture: the W6H framework

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline which has evolved to structure the business and its alignment with the IT systems. Most of the enterprise architecture frameworks, especially Zachman framework, focus on describing the enterprise from six viewpoint perspectives of the stakeholders. These six perspectives are based on English language interrogatives what, where, who, when, why, and how (thus the term W5H). W5H to describe an event or incident is common in journalism, however, it is difficult to “fit” EA into the “universe” of events, leading to difficulties in creation and evolution of EA. Moreover, the ordering in which interrogatives should be answered and viewpoints arranged is not defined in the existing EA frameworks, making the order and inter-dependence difficult to decide.

In this paper, our goals are to 1) assess if W5H is sufficient to describe EA of today’s rapidly evolving enterprise, and 2) explore the ordering and precedence among the viewpoint concerns, a major problem faced by the EA practitioners today.

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