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Architecture Steering Committee

The Architecture Steering Committee is the legislature that governs the entire Enterprise Architecture program and effort. It will typically report to the Chief Information or Technical Officer, or directly to the Board of Directors. The Steering Committee is responsible for managing the program and the enforcement of compliance, the approval of principles and resolving disputes, ambiguities and conflicts. The Steering Committee provides the high level guidance whereas the Architecture Review Board provides expertise to assess the architectures and their compliance and reports this information to the board.

Enterprise Architect has a variety of facilities that can be used to assist with the function of the Steering Committee. The board members might only require read access to the repository and often will rely upon publications or reports created from the repository.

Enterprise Architecture Charter

The Enterprise Architecture Charter, along with the principles, resembles the constitution that defines the purpose of the program, its relationship to other organizational bodies such as planning, program and project management offices, and implementation teams. It describes how Enterprise Architecture will be conducted to ensure the enterprise's vision has the best chance of success.

The Charter can be stored inside the Repository using a Document Artifact or, alternatively, if the document needs to reside outside the repository an Artifact can be used that references the external file or Web page using a hyperlink.


The principles are a set of guides that prescribe the way an enterprise translates business strategy into architectures and the way those architectures are used and implemented. Many organizations define the principles and then fail to ensure that they are complied with and often they are included in documentation but are not actively used to guide and constrain the architectures and implementations. Critical to the benefit that they provide rests in the application of the principles in a context that unambiguously demonstrates how the principle applies to a given architecture. Only a subset of the principles will apply to any given context and it is the architects responsibility to ensure that the principle is explained and exemplified in the context and level of the prescribed architecture.

Enterprise Architect can be used to model principles and their application using the concept of Classifiers and Instances. The principles are defined as Unified Modeling Language (UML) Classes and Instances of the principles can be used to guide individual architectures and implementation teams describing how the principles are applied in the context. This a powerful technique because any number of Instances of principles can be created and linked back to the parent principle.

Governance Register

The Governance Register records the activities and decisions of the Architecture Steering Committee and Architecture Review Board, and important milestones. This includes the acceptance of Principles and the Architecture Process, and the dates and minutes of meetings.