Anyone unfamiliar with the Department of Defence Architectural Framework (DoDAF) may initially struggle with the model’s concept of ‘viewpoints’, which form an integral part of the system.
Within the DoDAF, the viewpoint dictates what sort of information can be presented to the user – in previous versions of this system they were known as ‘views,’ the model has changed a little – and these viewpoints allow organisations to share only relevant data with different types of users.
Importantly, this means that somebody approaching the system from a technical perspective would not be shown the data in the same way as perhaps someone who needed to look at the operational structure of a company. While the same bank of information forms the spine of the different viewpoints, distinct profiles facilitate greater efficiency.
A good way of understanding this viewpoint system better is to look at a few examples from the DoDAF V2.0, which include the Operational Viewpoint, Capability Viewpoint, Services Viewpoint and Standards Viewpoint.
For the operational viewpoint, the user can expect to see the different scenarios, activities and requirements that make up the organisation’s operational side. Similarly, the Capability Viewpoint looks at what the company needs to be capable of delivering and what it is has the potential to process.
The Services Viewpoint makes clear who the performers are, what services they need to perform, as well as the exchanges that need to take place between them, all of this in relation to the organisation’s delivery plans.
Every company needs to abide by relevant industry standards and the Standards Viewpoint will offer a comprehensive guide as to how such legislation will restrict a firm’s operations. This viewpoint may also include forecasts on specifically how the organisation’s output could be affected.
Through these viewpoints, an organisation using DoDAF can collect a great deal of relevant information that will aid them in their efforts to improve operational efficiency – the number of companies that choose to pursue this kind of architectural model shows how effective it is perceived by the business world.
As the name suggests, DoDAF was initially a military system that has ultimately been adopted by commercial organisations due to the way that the system allows them to process data. Part what makes the idea so successful is its potential for replicating systems in different places – meaning its skeleton framework can be applied to different types of firms.
In the past few years, companies who moved on to the first DoDAF were also presented with the possibility of moving on to the V2.0 system, which was approved by the Department of Defence in 2009. The framework shares a lot of DNA with the previous iteration, but there are a number of important changes - not least the switch from views to viewpoints.
For engineers keen to harness the potential of the new architectural framework, it is important to look closely at how the DoDAF has altered from the first version to the second – particularly since the changes are designed to improve what was already a popular system.