VA Strategic Planners can begin their search on the VA EA website with the VA Strategic Planning page. This page lists information about the VA Strategic Plan, which defines core VA values, objectives, and long term strategic and performance goals, along with the strategies to implement them. This plan also drives the transformation efforts documented in the:
See the VA Strategic Planning page for additional information and resources.
The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture (CAF) states, “Only an enterprise-wide architecture can provide the benefits of an integrated view of strategic, business, and technology domains across all lines of business, services, and systems – which is key to optimizing mission capabilities and resource utilization. At present, there is no other management best practice, other than EA, that can serve as a context for enterprise-wide planning and decision making.” VA’s adoption of this perspective is evident within the VA EA’s vision; to be the authoritative reference for the requisite strategic, business, and technology information used to make informed decisions for the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA further benefits from effective use of an EA through improved service delivery, functional integration, and resource optimization. EA is required by law. The following is a list of laws and regulations requiring EA:
VA is shifting from a model-centric way of building enterprise architecture to a data-centric one that is driven by VA strategic goals, objectives, and priorities. The Architecture and Engineering Service (AES) within the Demand Management Division (DMD), Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO), Office of Information and Technology (OIT) is affecting this shift through its process for developing the VA EA which focuses on identification and continuous collaboration with business sponsors and the data required to address their business priorities. Since the VA EA must address multiple business sponsors and priorities with varying information needs, the AES is implementing a questions based, federated engagement model. The resulting federated VA EA supports the autonomy of different Administrations and Staff Offices and ensures the information owned and managed therein is made available to decision-makers across the Department. Treating the VA EA as a federation of information assets enables the architecture to function as an information hub to which information, such as budget, investment, and IT data are linked to form an invaluable enterprise decision-support capability.
The vision of the VA EA is to be the authoritative reference for the requisite integrated strategic, business, and technology information used to make informed decisions across VA. It provides an enterprise view of the VA to those who make decisions that effect change within VA business or IT environments. The vision will be achieved through an ongoing, collaborative effort between VA’s Administrations and Staff Offices supporting the delivery of benefits and management of the Department. Together, these organizations document the current and desired relationships among business processes and IT, and develop business rules, standards, and decision-making criteria that support the transition to the desired state. By using VA EA-enabling components, such as a development environment and tools, analyses, and data management, this information is integrated and federated into an enterprise view for VA use.
The difference between the VA EA and VA EA Program is that the VA EA is the description of the current and future VA enterprise while the VA EA Program is a group of services, activities, methodologies, procedures, people, and metrics intended to develop the VA EA and to measure its success at influencing VA processes with the goal of increasing efficiency and effectiveness. The metrics utilized to evaluate the VA EA Program maturity are prescribed by the Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework (EAMMF) developed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). VA treats the VA EA as the foundation of its VA EA Program and evolves it based on the eight basic elements identified in the CAF that must be present in an agency EA program – governance, principles, method, tools, standards, use, reporting, and audit – plus the strategic drivers that affect its content. See the VA EA Program page for full program details
The VA EA contains information that can be used to help make informed decisions within a myriad of VA processes. For example:
Currently, VA EA has four quarterly major releases – one in October, one in January, one in April and one in July.
There are multiple mechanisms used to enable VA EA stakeholders to distinguish updates between releases. The VA EA “What’s New” page describes any new or updated content/data integrated within the architecture as well as any new/updated technical capabilities or features made available via the VA EA Management Suite (VEAMS). There are also “Compare Reports” that provide more detailed descriptions of content changes from one release to the next.
For a full list of new or updated content, products, or tools please see the What’s New page.
The VA EA provides an integrated view of VA’s operations, strategies, services, and the business and IT capabilities that serve them. The VA EA website contains all information published as part of the VA EA, other supporting references, and a summary of updates for each VA EA Architecture Release. We encourage stakeholders to request a demonstration of the VA EA website in order to learn more about the VA EA, how to find valuable information, and/or where to access key products and tools.
To request a demonstration on current VA EA products, please Contact Us.
The VA Business Reference Model (VA BRM) is the authoritative source for describing VA’s business operations. It is based on OMB’s Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) BRM and has been tailored to reflect the unique capabilities and business functions of VA. This fully integrated model supersedes the VA Enterprise Capability Model (VAECM). Unlike the VAECM which only captured the top three Enterprise levels, the VA BRM fully integrates the lower level business functions of the Administrations and Staff Offices with the top three enterprise levels to provide a more complete view of the work being performed by the Department. Rather than being built along organizational stovepipes, the Business Reference Model transcends organizational boundaries to completely describe the work being performed across the department. Any organization or combination of internal VA organizations may perform the work. This integrated model is used to establish a common functional taxonomy that can be used across the Department to support the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process (PPBE), as well as other processes.
For more information on the VA BRM, please visit the Business Domain – Models & Reports page.
The Functional Organization Manual (FOM) is the authoritative source for VA organizational information that describes organizational missions, functions, tasks of the Administrations and Staff Offices, and laws, regulations, and policies within VA. VA EA visualizes FOM data as VA Organization-related Reports containing associations to other architecture content including VA BRM, VA Systems, IT Investments, and VA Programs. For more information on the VA Organization-related Reports, please visit the Business Domain – Models & Reports page.
See the full FOM for additional information.
The VA Performance Reference Model (PRM) is an authoritative reference for enterprise-level performance data and includes Strategic and Business Measures as well as IT Modernization Measures. The PRM measures are sourced from the VA Office of Performance Management (OPM) and Office of Information and Technology (OIT) performance database catalogs. This performance measurement content is conceptually visualized in the Performance Reporting Concept (PRC) Diagram. Actual PRM data is provided in 2 separate reports, the Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Monthly Management Review (MMR) and the VA Information Technology (IT) Investment Measure Report. PRM reports contain relationships of performance data to other architecture content including Strategic Objectives, APGs, VA BRM and VA IT Portfolios. Planned future releases will include System and Service Measures sourced from OIT performance database catalogs.
For more information on the VA EA PRM, please visit the Business Domain – Models & Reports page
Security guidelines and standards are critical components of an EA that must be defined and integrated across all architecture domains and at all levels of the organization to address threats to the VA mission. The VA EA currently includes:
See the Security Domain page for additional information.