The Open Group Architecture Framework or TOGAF certification is an enterprise architecture (EA) standard that is accepted globally. Notably, TOGAF was developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD). But, shortly after the release of its first version in 1995, the developmental framework was handed over to The Open Group, which has been managing it ever since.
How to be TOGAF Certified?
TOGAF certification has two levels that include TOGAF Foundation and TOGAF Certified. TOGAF Foundation is the entry-level qualification that covers basics while the second and highest level of TOGAF certification – TOGAF Certified – focuses on the working knowledge of EA methodology for businesses.
Further, you can either opt for self-study or training through an accredited training course at an institute. At present, the syllabus for all accredited training courses is based on the TOGAF Standard, Version 9.2.
What to do After Being TOGAF Certified?
As per The Open Group, TOGAF certification has allowed over 70,000 enterprise architects around the world to hone and demonstrate their EA skills. While TOGAF certification is an excellent choice for enterprise architects and developers, for most TOGAF certified professionals, the real challenge lies ahead. Being certified won’t amount to anything if you cannot utilize the knowledge accumulated in the relevant field. Once you are done with the TOGAF certification, a lot of questions pop in the head. And, some of them include:
“How do I leverage TOGAF standards to approach my first EA project?”
“How can I create an EA repository?”
“What career opportunities do I have?”
Questions like these can only be answered when you clearly understand the difference and requirements of the three core aspects of EA (developing an architecture project, running it and administering the same) delineated in TOGAF. Besides, you must figure out on your own as to how to put your TOGAF knowledge into practical use.
Read on to get a direction…
1. Learn to run an architecture project
Once you’ve created an EA project, you must figure out when to start and end it. Remember that you only have to cover from phase A to F of the TOGAF ADM cycle.
While ADM is a standard method for architecture development, you might need to modify it from time to time according to enterprise needs. Thus, it is imperative to carefully review all the components of TOGAF ADM to understand their use cases before actually applying them. This helps you to customize the ADM components to best suit the specific situations of an enterprise.
2. Expand your ‘architecture vision’
Here, we are talking about the first step of the ADM cycle, which is architecture vision. This is one of the most crucial steps in the entire ADM cycle since the time and effort you dedicate to this step will determine the overall success of the EA project. Your job is to think big and bring in all the stakeholders in the project to build a vision together.
- The first step involves collaborating with your IT and business teams to discuss and expand on matters of project goals, scope, gaps, and challenges. Through constructive arguments and discussions, you can create a comprehensive and efficient outline for the EA project.
- The second step is to create an EA value proposition for the project at hand. This value proposition is essential to demonstrate the project’s value to your stakeholders. Needless to say, it will help you to take actionable steps to reach the proposed outcomes.
- The third step involves the development of EA artifacts. You can collaborate with friendly professionals in the business and use tried and tested EA tools to shape your EA artifacts.
3. Put on the hat of a Project Manager
Since you will be running and managing an EA project, you need to start thinking and acting like a good project manager.
- Create a roadmap for your EA project to clearly portray the project highlights and deliverables.
- Outline estimates for your EA project after considering factors like the number of participating business units, how many business processes you can address successfully at a given time, and so on. To help with this, you could start reading up on the process documentation, database tables, application code, and workflows. Also, you could organize meetings with stakeholders to understand their take on the project.
- Make an actionable business process modeling blueprint specifically suited to your project. As you possess a full-fledged understanding of your project, you can create a unique hierarchy for business services, processes, sub-processes, and application functions.
- Be sure to use the right EA tools that come with TOGAF plug-ins. The efficient usage of these tools can make the ADM process much smoother.
Well, that’s how you can create, run, and handle EA projects after obtaining TOGAF certification.
Now, we’ll shed some light on the career opportunities that TOGAF certified professionals can opt for. Usually, a lot of companies across various sectors hire TOGAF certified professionals. Some of the big names include Accenture, Genpact, PwC, and Mindtree, among others. After obtaining TOGAF certification, you can work in the capacity of solution architect, software solutions architect, cloud solutions architect, technical architect, enterprise architect, system architect, principal architect and enterprise security architect.
Further, as the demand for TOGAF certified professionals is growing, their salary packages are increasing too. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a TOGAF (9) certified professional is US$133,000. Now, this acts as a major push to get a TOGAF certification!