Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 397–426 | Cite as

A situational method for semi-automated Enterprise Architecture Documentation

  • Matthias Farwick
  • Christian M. Schweda
  • Ruth Breu
  • Inge Hanschke
Regular Paper


The business capabilities of modern enterprises crucially rely on the enterprises’ information systems and underlying IT infrastructure. Hence, optimization of the business-IT alignment is a key objective of Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM). To achieve this objective, EAM creates, maintains and analyzes a model of the current state of the Enterprise Architecture. This model covers different concepts reflecting both the business and the IT perspective and has to be constantly maintained in response to ongoing transformations of the enterprise. In practice, EA models grow large and are difficult to maintain, since many stakeholders from various backgrounds have to contribute architecture-relevant information. EAM literature and two practitioner surveys conducted by the authors indicate that EA model maintenance, in particular the manual documentation activities, poses one of the biggest challenges to EAM in practice. Current research approaches target the automation of the EA documentation based on specific data sources. These approaches, as our systematic literature review showed, do not consider enterprise specificity of the documentation context or the variability of the data sources from organization to organization. The approach presented in this article specifically accounts for these factors and presents a situational method for EA documentation. It builds on four process-supported documentation techniques which can be selected, composed and applied to design an organization-specific documentation process. The techniques build on a meta-model for EA documentation, which is implemented in an EA-repository prototype that supports the configuration and execution of the documentation techniques. We applied our documentation method assembly process at a German insurance company and report the findings from this case study in particular regarding practical applicability and usability of our approach.


Enterprise Architecture Documentation Maintenance Model Automation Situational method 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Farwick
    • 1
  • Christian M. Schweda
    • 2
  • Ruth Breu
    • 1
  • Inge Hanschke
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Computer ScienceUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.iteratec GmbHMunich, UnterhachingGermany

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