ArchiMate 3.0: Viewpoint Mechanism

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Architects are expected to provide valuable output that helps decision making and drives more value for the organization. This means they are constantly required to answer a large number of varied requests. To help users rise to this challenge, ArchiMate 3.0 introduces a framework for the definition and classification of viewpoints – the Viewpoint Mechanism. This framework takes into account two dimensions: purpose and content.

ArchiMate 3.0: Viewpoint Mechanism

The purpose dimension includes three categories:

  • Designing – Design viewpoints support users in the design process from initial sketch to detailed design. They are usually expressed as diagrams.

  • Deciding – Decision support viewpoints assist managers by offering insights into cross-domain architecture relationships, e.g. cross-reference tables, landscape maps, lists, and reports.

  • Informing – Informing viewpoints have a generic purpose. They may inform stakeholders about the EA to bring clarity, obtain buy-in, as well as convince reticent stakeholders. These normally include illustrations, animations, and flyers.

The content dimension uses the ArchiMate Core Framework in order to identify the necessary aspects and layers. It comprises three categories:

  • Details – Views on the detailed level typically consider one layer and one aspect from the ArchiMate Core Framework. Who might find this most useful? Typical stakeholders include process owners responsible for effective and efficient process execution or perhaps software engineers responsible for the design and implementation of a software component.

  • Coherence – The coherence abstraction level spans multiple layers or multiple aspects. Extending the view to more than one layer or aspect enables the stakeholder to focus on architecture relationships like process-uses-system (multiple layer) or application-uses-object (multiple aspect). Coherence views are generally aimed at operational managers responsible for a collection of IT services or business processes.

  • Overview – The overview abstraction level addresses both multiple layers and multiple aspects. Typically, such overviews are most relevant for enterprise architects and decision-makers, such as CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, etc.

ArchiMate 3.0 Viewpoint Mechanism

So how does it work? Simply put, in order to create a view the architect or analyst needs to first address the stakeholders’ concerns. After all, what lies at the base of any view is usefulness, a need to provide value. Addressing those concerns ensures the resulting view accomplishes a certain purpose. Once they are identified, the next step is to choose the required concepts (elements and relationships) from the ArchiMate meta-model. Then, all that remains to be done is to settle on a representation to depict these concepts in a way that is easily understood by the audience, e.g. a diagram, a catalog of elements, or a matrix illustrating the relationships between two groups of elements.

The mechanism offers users a straightforward way of defining and classifying the viewpoint, which further guides the design and creation of the view. This means ArchiMate 3.0 doesn’t just present users with a list of possible viewpoints. Thanks to the introduction of the Viewing Mechanism, architects and analysts may now have a more structured and logical approach towards the views they need to create. Viewpoints can be defined according to clear precepts, which ultimately helps not only the practitioners but the organization as a whole.

You can read more about the changes in ArchiMate 3.0 using the links below:


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