It’s been a while since I was blogging regularly.  The reason: I was in a ship cycle.  As we approached our deadline for delivery of a comprehensive end-to-end information model for information technology, more and more of my time was spent focusing on the details. 

Is it explained well enough?  Are all of the connections correct?  Have I captured all of the reviewers’ feedback? 

In the end, the MS IT Common Conceptual Model is a set of domain models, all integrated with one another:

  • Business Motivation
  • Business Architecture and IT Alignment
  • Business Program Management
  • Business Process Management
  • IT Project Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Analysis and Requirements Management (incl. Traceability)
  • IT Software Development and Testing
  • IT Software Deployment (Service Transition)
  • Application Monitoring and Mitigation
  • Operational Traceability and Notification

It has taken over a year of hard work, first by Bob Sturm to lay the groundwork and then by myself to roll the model to an initial version, to get to this date.  Whew! 

I’m sure I’ll still be involved with this, and I may end up writing a book about it, but for the most part, I’m done!

We shipped.  On to the next thing…

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

6 thoughts on “Ship It!”
  1. Congratulations!  It is always a relief to ship something that has taken a long time to develop.  If you are proud of the work, it is also rewarding.  I look forward to hearing more from you on this blog about lessons learned during your project.  A book would be great, too.

  2. Pretty interesting stuff you’ve been working on Nick. I hope all of it will be covered on the book you mention.

    Keep the good work !

  3. Congratulations Nick!!! Keep up the good work. But a query here – is this framework / conceptual model set only for MS internal use or will it be going out to the market for practioners to utilize the same. Do let us know on this.

    There are multiple frameworks that are existent in the market for ages now, but what the industry lacks is prescriptive methodology (atleast a conceptual model / meta-model) for achieving Biz-IT alignment, addressing Reqmts space et al.

    I hope some of the concerns would be addressed here – but am intersted in the end-to-end method from motivation to service level and traceability stuff. Have been a fan of TOGAF, MDA and ITIL like frameworks but have not seen a comprehensive work till date in one book. Looking forward!!

  4. Hello Tycoon,

    All applied frameworks take the constraints of the industry and/or organization that originates them into account.  The conceptual model that I’ve built takes into account Microsoft’s own internal history and practice for IT, which is a long and storied one.  That said, I leveraged industry as heavily as I could, taking concepts from ITIL, TOGAF, FEAF, NGOSS, MODAF, RM-ODP, OMG BMM, and bits from the literature of Use cases, Business Process Management, and Domain Driven Design.  

    I also took bits from Microsoft’s own IP, including the Business Capability work from Motion, as well as management concepts from System Center.  Even a few random bits from MSDF.  

    The challenge wasn’t to create a new framework of terms.  There were plenty to choose from.  The challenge was to choose the right set that produced a comprehensive, non-overlapping, rational whole.  

    To be honest, I’ll need dozens of architects to look it over and tweak it, for years in all liklihood, to perfect it.  I don’t consider it more than a version 1.0.  

    Do I think it could be used by others?  Yes.  

    Is it better than the work of TOGAF, ITIL, et al?  No.  

    That’s why I’m considering a book.  It’s the only way to get all of this stuff out of my brain and into a useful body of work.  

    — Nick

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