A systematic literature review on Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodologies

A systematic literature review on Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodologies

Table of Contents


Context: Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a strategy to align business and Information Technology (IT) within an enterprise. EA is managed, developed, and maintained throughout the EA Implementation Methodology (EAIM).

Objective: The aims of this study are to identify the existing effective practices that are used by existing EAIMs, identify the factors that affect the effectiveness of EAIM, identify the current tools that are used by existing EAIMs, and identify the open problems and areas related to EAIM for improvement. Method: A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was carried out. 669 papers were retrieved by a manual search in 6 databases and 46 primary studies were finally included. Result: From these studies, 33% were journal articles, 41% were conference papers while 26% were contributions from the studies consisted of book chapters. Consequently, 28 practices, 19 factors, and 15 tools were identified and analyzed.

Conclusion: Several rigorous researches have been done in order to provide effective EAIM, however, there are still problems in components of EAIM, including there is lack of tool support for the whole part of EA implementation, there is a deficiency in addressing the EAIM’s practices especially in modeling, management, and maintenance, there is lack of consideration on the non-functional requirement in existing EAIM, there is no appropriate consideration on requirement analysis in most existing EAIM. This review provides researchers with some guidelines for future research on this topic. It also provides broad information on EAIM, which could be useful for practitioners.


Enterprise Architecture Implementation, Methodology, SLR, EAIM, Enterprise Architecture, Methodology


Enterprise Architecture (EA) is employed by enterprises for providing an integrated environment in order to support the alignment of the enterprise’s business and Information Technology (IT) [1,8]. EA project consists of two main approaches including Enterprise Architecture Framework (EAF), and Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodology (EAIM). These approaches are intended to support EA implementation by providing planning for EA project, modeling the EA artefacts, developing well-structured artifacts, managing the EA implementation, supporting the EA governance, and maintaining the EA implementation. While EA framework tries to capture information from the enterprise’s business and IT and model them, EAIM tries to utilize models for developing appropriate ISs and IT Infrastructure for enterprise [40]

EAF represents the structure to model the enterprise’s business and IT entities. There are various models for different perspectives in EAF, each with different scopes and activities. The outputs of EAF are EA’s artefacts that consist of models, diagrams, documents and reports [11,41]. Since EA artefacts are not sufficient for make alignment between business and IT within enterprises, enterprises are looking to find a method to address theirs challenges on competitiveness by implementing EA artefacts [5,6]. EAIM describes the structured approach in order to answer the EA implementation needs and provide a specific plan for enabling the EA artefacts [7,25]. EAIM should cover all aspects of the EA lifecycle, including the planning for enterprise understanding projects, the analysis of business requirements, the design of systems, the evolution of systems, and the ongoing enhancements of all of the above [5]

There are several EAIMs, each with a different approach, practice, and perspective, however, they are common on definition of EAIM, which is the generic reference procedure that represents the (1) structure and condition of existing systems, (2) the practices and descriptions that lead to managing the step-by-step guidelines from current architecture to desired one, (3) the practices and description that lead to maintain and keep the enterprise updated in order to cope with upcoming changes, and (4) the practices and description that lead to supervise and govern the systems and artefacts [22,30,33]. The methodology is both complete and concise, serving as a coherent guide for practitioner professionals [3].

In EA, the effectiveness is determined by the degree in which the outputs of EA implementation can help the enterprise attain its intended goals [39]. Besides, EA function effectiveness is: ‘‘The degree in which organizational objectives are attained through the outputs of the EA function’’. Effectiveness may be objectively measured using organizational performance data related to the implementation of EA decision-making [26]. There is the ineffectiveness of EA implementation methodology that is used to support Enterprise Architecture Implementation due to the complexities; these complexities come from EAIM’s processes, models, methods, and strategy [5,34]. Consequently, EA projects may be faced with lack of support in the following part of EA: requirement analysis, governance and evaluation, a guideline for implementation, and continuous improvement of EA implementation [10].

1.1. Paper goals and contributions

This study is part of the research of developing an effective EAIM. A first step towards developing an effective EAIM is to identify effective practices and the factors that affect the effectiveness of EAIM. Therefore, this paper aims to represent the practices and factors, which make EAIM effective. This information could extend the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge (EABOD) by providing broad information on EA implementation practices. Moreover, it provides an indication of the measurement implementation approaches being used by enterprise architects. We are particularly interested in a. Assessing the current problems in existing EAIM. b. Identifying the tools that are used by exiting EAIM. c. Identifying open problems and areas for improvement. The target audience for this review is twofold: First, we aim at researchers who would like to get a systematic overview of the area of EAIM in practices and factors of effective EAIM. Second, we aim at practitioners who would like to find out effective EAIM to apply an EA project.

1.2. Paper structure

The remainders of this paper are divided into the following parts: related work is described in Section 2, the research methodology is represented in Section 3, and, results of this review along with a discussion on the finding of this study are described in Sections 4 and 5, respectively. Finally, the conclusion of this study is expressed in Section 6.


The goal of this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review on EAIM. Our aims were investigating and identifying the practices and factors which are used in order to make an effective EAIM, collecting the factors which implicate practices, and identifying open problems and areas for potential improvement of EAIM. Our results reveal that there are 19 practices, which need to be considered in order to provide effective EAIM. Moreover, according to the categorization of factors, there are 6 key factors for the effectiveness of EAIM. The results of this study could extend the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge (EABOD) [12] by providing broad information on the practices and factors. Moreover, the results of the first SLR question provide an appropriate knowledge about required practices for developing an effective EAIM, which is useful for both academicians and practical persons who are looking to customize and develop an EAIM. Furthermore, the results of the second SLR question provide the following benefits:

  • Point to behaviors that are preventing the effective use of EAIM—thereby understanding the importance of the factors.
  • Provide an effective instrument for measuring the effectiveness of EAIM.

Meanwhile, this study represented and discussed the current issues on EAIM as a general discussion, which provided appropriate information for further research in the EA implementation area. These issues are: there is lack of tool support for the whole part of EA implementation; there is deficiency in addressing the EAIM practices especially in modeling, management, and maintenance; there is lack of consideration on the non-functional requirement in existing EAIM; there is no appropriate consideration on requirement analysis in most existing EAIM. To conclude, we would like to stress an idea that has been present throughout this study: we are now in a position to face the development (or refinement) of methodological and technical proposals for dealing with effectiveness in EAIM. Since EA is becoming more mature, it is time to face the different challenges that will allow us to make it more effective.

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FULL Paper PDF file:

A systematic literature review on Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodologies



Babak Darvish Rouhani, Mohd Naz’ri Mahrin, Fatemeh Nikpay, Rodina Binti Ahmad, Pourya Nikfard




A systematic literature review on Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodologies

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Elsevier, Information and Software Technology



PDF reference and original file: Click here



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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.