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  • President, Armstrong Process Group, Inc.

    The latest Open Group member spotlight focuses on Chris Armstrong, President of Armstrong Process Group, Inc., who has been involved with The Open Group since 2005.

    Q: How long have you been involved with The Open Group?
    I’ve been a member of The Open Group since 2005.

    Q: What spawned your personal involvement in the organization?
    My organization, Armstrong Process Group (APG), provides companies with process and tool guidance for aligning IT capabilities with business strategy. APG had been referencing TOGAF™ in some of our architecture training for many years. In early 2005, we successfully submitted a speaking proposal to The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Dublin.

    We found out at the conference that The Open Group had started an initiative called the TOGAF™ ADM/MDA® Synergy Project, which was an effort to align the artifacts from the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) with standard specifications developed and adopted by the OMG (Object Management Group). The project, a collaborative effort between The Open Group, OMG and the Integration Consortium, needed someone from OMG, of which APG is a member, to help with the project. I wound up doing a lot of the project’s modeling work.

    Shortly after seeing what The Open Group was all about at the conference, Armstrong Process Group joined the Architecture Forum.

    Q: What key forums/initiatives are you personally involved with at The Open Group?
    I have been primarily involved with the Architecture Forum, and I also was a part of the Synergy Project. In December 2007, the Synergy Project issued our final joint report.

    I am now involved in the development of TOGAF 9 and am a member of the Terminology and Modeling Work Group. My responsibility in that Work Group is to lead the modeling effort. One of the results of our work has been a complete model of TOGAF 8.1.1 using the Software and Systems Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM), an OMG specification that APG significantly contributed to over the past several years.

    Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?
    Participating in the Architecture Forum has given APG an opportunity to be a peer, based on our contributions, with large, global organizations. Our Open Group membership has given us a lot of visibility in those terms. It has also given us the opportunity to contribute what we use as industry best practices with our own clients. We’ve brought those to the Architecture Forum, in particular for formal modeling and agile development.

    Since becoming members of the Architecture Forum, APG has created TOGAF courseware that has been certified by The Open Group. We are one of three U.S.-based TOGAF training organizations. We are also certified by The Open Group to help organizations adopt and practice TOGAF.

    APG created a product recently – the APG TOGAF Process Library (ATPL) - that is certified by The Open Group for TOGAF Tool Support. This makes APG the only organization in the world that holds all three Open Group certifications.

    Q: What contributions to The Open Group are you most proud of?
    I am proud of our work on the Synergy Project in trying to align OMG’s formal modeling specifications with TOGAF. I am also pleased with APG’s recent contributions to the Terminology and Modeling Work Group in building a model of TOGAF. We have been contributing to the ongoing development of TOGAF 9, and I’m proud that we submitted over 80 change requests to the draft standard, many of which were identified via the modeling work that we did.

    Additionally, I’m pleased that APG has been involved in the IT Architect Certification (ITAC) program; in fact, one of APG’s consultants is on the ITAC board. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in the peer review of up-and-coming, practicing Enterprise Architects.

    Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?
    As we deliver training and consulting services for Enterprise Architecture (EA) and TOGAF at various organizations, we always point out where there may be possibilities for improvement or advancement. We urge our clients to consider membership in The Open Group’s Architecture Forum, as it is the signature place in the industry to contribute to the practice of EA using open standards. There are opportunities for individuals and organizations to network and share experiences as they try to elevate the practice of EA within their respective organizations. In our experience, using a standards-based approach to EA, such as TOGAF, lowers the risk for initial adoption (since TOGAF has a proven track record) and increases sustainability through the community of certified service providers, tools and practitioners. Participation in the Architecture Forum further reduces the risk for organizations to adopt a TOGAF-based EA practice.

    Q: Any last thoughts?
    One important distinction we have observed about The Open Group’s Architecture Forum, in particular, is the focus on end-user participation. Unlike other standards organizations that are dominated by tool vendors and service providers, The Open Group has a vibrant community of end-users that are trying to figure out how to advance their EA practices using TOGAF. This helps keep the Architecture Forum focused on delivering tangible value to those organizations that need to solve real business problems in the real world.

    About Chris Armstrong

    Chris Armstrong is president of Armstrong Process Group, Inc. and an internationally recognized thought leader and expert in iterative software development, enterprise architecture, object-oriented analysis and design, the Unified Modeling Language (UML), use case driven requirements and process improvement.

    Over the past twenty years, Chris has worked to bring modern software engineering best practices to practical application at many private companies and government organizations worldwide. Chris has spoken at over 30 conferences, including The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, Software Development Expo, Rational User Conference, OMG workshops and UML World. He has been published in such outlets as Cutter IT JournalEnterprise Development and Rational Developer Network.

    In 2005, Chris started Armstrong Process Group, Inc. and continues his focus on organizational development, process improvement training and consulting, and IT professional development and certification. He co-chairs the TOGAF/MDA process modeling effort at The Open Group.