Skip to content

On Principals

Laying the Foundation

Principles are high level statements of the fundamental values that guide business and technology decision-making and activities and are the foundation for architecture, standards, and policy development.

They are stable enough to withstand technological and process changes but timely enough to maintain a clear relevancy with markets, policy, program, and management changes.

Composition of Principles

Principles consist of the principle statement, rationale, and implications. Though the wording for principles should remain consistent, the rational and implications will evolve over time, as an organization responds to factors such as the current IT environment, internal initiatives, external forces and markets, and changes in mission, vision, and strategic plan.

Examples of Principles

Below are two example principles:

Optimum Enterprise Benefit

Architectural decisions will maximize the overall benefit by balancing the following criteria: accessibility, consistency, cost, diversity of business needs, flexibility, functionality, manageability, precision, risk, scalability, security, supportability and value.

  • Rationale - Architectures are to provide long term benefits to the enterprise. Therefore decisions must balance multiple criteria based on the business need.

  • Implications - The business owner must prioritize criteria based on funding, governance and knowledge, skills and abilities of staff or available services. Criteria may receive different emphases in different situations.

Reusability of Components

The enterprise will be built on loosely-coupled, reusable modular components that implement services.

  • Rationale - Reusable components provide opportunities to reduce IT development costs and development time. Reusable components leverage investments in existing IT systems. Modular components improve the ability of systems to adapt to changing requirements because the changes will be isolated to affected modules.

  • Implication - Architecture will establish standards and guidelines for developing system components.