TOGAF, The Open Group Architecture Framework, is a foundational enterprise architecture methodology including a set of tools that can be used to develop any subset of enterprise architecture. Its purpose is to create an integrated environment that supports the delivery of business strategies, and that is responsive to change.
TOGAF includes a methodology, framework, tools, guidelines, techniques, and other resources that allow professionals and organizations to develop and implement enterprise architecture.
More specifically, TOGAF encompasses six core components:
- Part I: Introduction – Includes key concepts of EA and the TOGAF approach including definitions used in the manual
- Part II: Architecture Development Method (ADM) – includes a procedural approach to developing an enterprise architecture
- Part III: ADM Guidelines and Techniques – contains details on implementing ADM and a TOGAF approach
- Part IV: Architecture Content Framework – Includes a description of the TOGAF Content Framework including an overview of typical architectural deliverables, application of Architecture Building Blocks, and the structured metamodel for architectural artifacts
- Part V: Enterprise Continuum and Tools – Includes tools and taxonomies used to categorize and store EA outputs
- Part VI: Architecture Capability Framework – includes organization, responsibilities, skills, processes, and roles necessary to establish and operate an EA function.
TOGAF documentation also includes a TOGAF Library which is a reference of resources for patterns, guidelines, templates, and further reference material used to fast-track EA creation. Additional content for the TOGAF 9.2 Library has already been announced for the near future. Currently, the Library is organized into four sections including:
- Foundation Documents,
- Generic Guidance and Techniques,
- Industry-Specific Guidance and Techniques, AND,
- Organization-Specific Guidance and Techniques.
Types and versions of TOGAF certification
There are two main types of TOGAF certifications each with different versions. The Open Group’s IT certification program includes four knowledge-based ‘Professional Certifications,’ two experience-based ‘Professional Certifications’ (for a total of six ‘Professional Certifications’) and several ‘Product/Tool/Process Certifications.’ All the certifications are listed below.
1. Knowledge-based Certifications
TOGAF Certification Program:
Ensures candidates have knowledge and understanding of the TOGAF standard.
IT4IT Certification Program:
Ensures candidates have knowledge and understanding of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.
ArchiMate Certification Program:
Ensures candidates have knowledge and understanding of the ArchiMate Specification.
Open FAIR Certification Program:
This program is intended for risk analysts and organizations that employ risk analysts. The program is based on FAIR (Open Factor Analysis of Information Risk), an independent and open risk analysis methodology.
2. Experience-based Certifications
Open CA (The Open Group Certified Architect Program):
Used to certify skills and experience in the IT architecture community.
Open CTS (The Open Group Certified Technical Specialist Program):
Designed to verify the skills and qualities professionals have, that will enable them to develop, implement and manage IT solutions effectively.
To have your tool, product, or process certified by The Open Group, you need to follow a few simple steps as detailed in the certification guides listed below: for each program.
- TOGAF® tools
- Become a certified Open Trusted Technology Provider™ (O-TTPS)
- ArchiMate® tools
- UNIX® Systems
- POSIX® – Certified by IEEE and The Open Group
Skills needed to become TOGAF certified
To become a TOGAF accredited enterprise architect, you can follow several different paths. Some professionals will pursue (or have already pursued) an MBA while others will opt a different route. Ultimately, it is only through ‘experience’ and ‘practical learning’ that a person becomes a capable TOGAF professional.
That said, it is vital that a candidate that wants to become a TOGAF professional should:
- Have industry or domain knowledge on a particular industry where enterprise architecture (EA) will be practiced
- Have some personal skills and qualities like holistic or big-picture thinking, and attention to detail.
Bear in mind that TOGAF will help the candidate by providing them with a methodology and framework to accomplish goals in the industry where EA is practiced.
Steps to follow to become TOGAF certified
1. Exam details
TOGAF 9.2 includes two levels of certification that can be done either separately or combined into one exam. The two exams include:
Level 1: TOGAF 9 Foundation: validates an understanding of the basic terminologies and concepts including the enterprise architecture and founding principles of TOGAF
Level 2: TOGAF 9 Certified: Validates that a candidate not only knows and understands foundational TOGAF information but that they can view and implement the information
The purpose of the TOGAF certification is to assure employers that the candidate has adequate skill and experience of TOGAF. The accreditation is, therefore, a mark of trust.
2. Exam prerequisites
Level 1: TOGAF 9 Foundation Exam- There is no definitive prerequisite for this part. The primary criteria are that a candidate must believe that they have sufficiently prepared for the exam with the intention of succeeding in order to have a productive career in EA.
Level 2: TOGAF 9 Certified Exam- The candidate must have passed and acquired the TOGAF 9 Foundation certification and must have their Conformation Code to seat the exam.
If a candidate decides to go for the TOGAF 9 Level 1 and Level 2 Combined exam, no pre-requisite is required as long as they believe they can pass the exam and then build a career in TOGAF.
3. How to prepare for the TOGAF exam
Prepare for the exam either through self-study or through taking an accredited or a non-accredited training course.
The basic structure of the exams and the mark required to pass the exams are as follows:
- Level 1: TOGAF 9 Foundation Exam- There are 40 questions in total. You must answer at least 22 of these questions correctly to get the minimum 55% required to proceed to Level 2.
- Level 2: TOGAF 9 Certified Exam- To pass this exam, you must correctly answer 24 out of a total of 40 questions to get a minimum pass mark of 60%. The exam includes 8 scenario-based questions in an open book exam with each question scoring a maximum of five points each for the best answer, three points for the second-best answer, one point for the third-best answer and no points for a wrong answer.
- Level 1 and Level 2 Combined exam: The structure of the combined exam is as described in both Level 1 and Level 2 above, but you will complete both exams in a single sitting. If you don’t pass one of the Levels, your certificate will not be awarded until you re-appear for the exam and pass the parts you failed earlier.
4. What is the cost of the exam?
Level 1: TOGAF 9 Foundation and Level 2: TOGAF 9 Certified, each cost $320 (U.S.) for a grand total of $640 (U.S.). If you take the combined Level 1 and Level 2 exam, you will pay a discounted $495 (U.S.).
These costs assume that you will study on your own without taking any course. If you decide to take a training course, then you will have to pay a lot more. But taking a course will help you gain all the necessary skills. A four-day training course by instructors from the Open Group costs about $3,000.
5. Job Prospects:
From time to time, the Open Group lists the top companies that have TOGAF certified IT professionals. These companies often include companies like CGI, BP, Deloitte, HP, Capgemini, Tata, Cisco, IBM, Wipro, Oracle, and NASA.
Besides these top-tier companies, there are over 600 other organizations and businesses that hire TOGAF professionals across different borders and in a wide variety of industries in both the public and the private sector. In short, job prospects are quite high for TOGAF professionals that have the necessary skills and awareness in specific domains of interest to organizations seeking to implement enterprise architecture.
To start your search for a TOGAF job, a great place to start looking is from the list of organizations and companies that are members of The Open Group.