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Information Architecture: Successes From Data Architecture A Presentation to the Data Management Association National Capitol Region May 8, 2001. Ted Griffin Office of Science, Department of Energy Todd Forsythe, Lisa Black, Connie Dowler Stanley Associates, Inc. Why Listen to Us?.

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Information Architecture: Successes From Data ArchitectureA Presentation to the Data Management Association National Capitol RegionMay 8, 2001

Ted Griffin

Office of Science, Department of Energy

Todd Forsythe, Lisa Black, Connie Dowler

Stanley Associates, Inc.

why listen to us
Why Listen to Us?

Real Experience

  • Planning
  • Designing


  • Implementing

IT and Data Architecture in Federal Civilian Environment,

With User Groups

two architecture projects
Two Architecture Projects

DOE Office of

Science HQ







Operations Office:





who we are
Who We Are
  • Stanley Associates
    • Todd Forsythe - Functional Architect
      • Methodology & Context for Data Architecture
  • Lisa Black – Lead Data Architect
    • Data Design
  • Connie Dowler – Data Base Administer
    • Data Design Implementation
  • DOE Federal Lead
    • Ted Griffin
      • Benefits and Lessons
  • Methodology:
    • Dr. Steven Spewak:

Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications and Technology

  • Initiated in 1997, continually updated and improved
seven components of information architecture















Seven Components of Information Architecture

Customer Team


results of the initial strategic plan
Results of the Initial Strategic Plan
  • Initial Strategic Plan called for two main applications
    • Many more applications existed in the whole, but major effort was in the main applications.
  • Two JAD groups organized to initiate those applications
    • Managers and Directors organized, trained in JAD/RAD, etc.
how we proceeded
How We Proceeded
  • Problem analysis
  • Business modeling
  • Logical data modeling
    • Normalization
    • Data integrity issues
business representatives change the course
Business Representatives Change the Course
  • Revised Plan
    • Foundation Projects
    • Defined common data components
    • Functionality chunking
foundation projects
Foundation Projects
  • Organization
  • Institution
  • Person
  • Project (replaced later by Work Element)
  • Program Area
change in the way im was done
Change in the Way IM Was Done
  • Organization Administrators Working Together
    • Cooperation
    • Communicating
    • Compromising
    • Prioritizing







foundation provided data repository
Foundation ProvidedData Repository
  • Real work could begin
  • Back to the original applications
    • Integrated Financial Management Project
    • Integrated Research Project and Procurement Project
  • Revise the projects
    • Execution Work Management (IMSC)
    • Worksheet Exchange
data conversion
Data Conversion
  • Free form data fields from legacy system
  • All records imported into IMSC
  • Identify and reduce duplicate records in IMSC
information management in the office of sc imsc
Information Management in the Office of SC (IMSC)
  • Central Repository provided by Foundation Projects
  • Additional data integrated into repository
  • Work toward single application for all users / organizations
    • Each org had their own thought
    • Thoughts were actually the same, just different levels of detail, and different definitions (project means different things to different offices)
what we did to the users
What We Did to the Users
  • Data Integrity – Users must look for data before they add new data
  • Referential Integrity – Pick lists provided, editing isn’t allowed (on the fly)
  • Duplicate Squash – Eliminate duplicate records within IMSC
issue 1 the system doesn t work
Issue 1:The System Doesn’t Work!
  • Due to the implementation of Referential Integrity, users attempted to put bad B&R code into the system. System rejected the code and a helpdesk issue was recorded
  • Users perspective: “I can’t do my job.”
  • Overall perspective: “Great, we finally have good data.”
issue 2 we can t use this
Issue 2:We Can’t Use This!
  • Data now has integrity. Prior systems provided ability to overload fields so that queries and reports couldn’t be done on the database. Searches had to be done on unstructured data.
  • User perspective: “This isn’t right, we define a word as something else.”
  • Overall perspective: “Finally, a system for all to use.”
issue 3 less complex more flexible
Issue 3:Less Complex, More Flexible
  • With the above restrictions, and the ability to aggregate the data, reporting and queries on the data provide the same answers to all users. Separate queries don’t have to be written for each organization.
  • Smaller number of canned reports
  • Easier to Query and get Big Picture reports
unsuccessful efforts
Unsuccessful Efforts
  • All have in common: Focus is not on service, consequently service did not improve
im organization goals
IM Organization Goals
  • Focus is on service
  • Customers perform their jobs better
effective im service
Effective IM Service
  • Effective Service
    • Supports customer business activities
    • Supports customer priorities
    • Involves the customer
  • Result:
    • Focus is on service
    • Customers do their jobs better
  • Best Process:
    • Information Architecture
benefits of sc hq after information architecture
Benefits of SC HQ After Information Architecture


  • IM Strategic Plan based on business activities
  • Budget based on IM Strategic Plan
  • IM Operating Plan based on IM Strategic Plan & Budget
  • All IM implemented supports business activities
  • Technology implemented to support system development
  • IM Team organization dependent on IA / strategic planning
  • All decisions based on customer developed principles
sc hq after information architecture
SC HQ After Information Architecture

Customer Involvement

  • Business folks engaged
    • Customer Information Advisory Group (CIAG)
    • IM Board
    • Executive Steering Committee (ESC)
  • Development process requires customer involvement
  • Business folks decide what IM to implement
  • Business folks defend budget
sc hq after information architecture27
SC HQ After Information Architecture


  • Are tied to business activities
  • Are better identified
  • Can be traced from identification to product rollout
  • Are satisfied following one process
sc hq after information architecture28
SC HQ After Information Architecture

Customer Service

  • Policies developed and followed
  • One standard image provided
  • COTS evaluated and selected more easily
  • Moving towards one data store
  • Service consistent
  • Interoperability
  • Service more responsive
  • Corporate systems take priority (reduction in systems performing same function)
  • Communications
  • Performance measures implemented
sc hq after information architecture29
SC HQ After Information Architecture

Budget / Cost

  • The provision of IM more cost effective
  • FY 99, 00, & 01 budgets reflect significant increase
  • Costly interfaces avoided
  • Benefits and impacts of IM more easily assessed

Result: Making maximum effective use of available IM funding to provide IM products and service that best enable customers to perform their jobs

information architecture
Information Architecture

Why we like it

  • Focus is on service
  • IM Team better able to provide effective service
  • Customers better able to perform their jobs
  • Working on the right issues
keys to a successful implementation
Keys to a Successful Implementation
  • General
  • Prior to Project Initiation (IM Organization)
  • During the Project
  • After Implementation
  • Focus must be on customer service and collaboration to enable them to do their jobs better
  • IM organization takes ownership
prior to project initiation
Prior to Project Initiation
  • Obtain top management support
  • Produce a well designed project plan focusing on IM team and customer jointly producing first seven IA components and transition plan
  • Conduct top management and customer presentations on IA (project plan and process) to describe benefits and manage expectations
  • Established customer groups (with time expectations) to work project plan and create customer infrastructure
  • Manage logistics
  • Obtain Federal/contractor support experienced in IA implementation
during project
During Project
  • Physically locate IM team (including support) and customer group together
  • Continue education on IA process with customer groups and how the current project step fits in
  • Produce each component with the intent of being good not perfect
  • Provide oral status reports to top management at agreed-to-intervals
  • Perform good project management
after implementation
After Implementation
  • Institutionalize process
    • Business customers take ownership
    • Develop budget request based on strategic plan
    • Have customers request budget
    • IM team and customer jointly develop annual operating plan
    • Become IM consultants and facilitate customer decisions
  • Maintain communications
  • Maintain customer infrastructure
what are ongoing challenges
What Are Ongoing Challenges?
  • Maintaining collaboration
  • Ensuring customer understanding of IA process
  • Providing the right communications
  • Managing customer involvement, accountability, and expectations
  • Elimination of us vs. them


  • Mr. Ted Griffin, SC-65 Strategic Planning & Architecture Federal Lead, Department of Energy

(301) 903-4602

  • Lisa Black, Lead Data Architect, Stanley Associates

(301) 903-1310

  • Connie Dowler, Data Base Administrator,Stanley Associates

(301) 903-1018


  • Pat Flannery, DOE Project Manager, Stanley Associates

(301) 903-9002

  • Todd Forsythe, Strategic Planning & Architecture, Stanley Associates

(301) 928-1244