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VA Enterprise Architecture

VA Global and VA EA Guiding Principles

All VA IT investments are subject to six VA Global Principles that support transformation and improve IT support for the VA mission. The VA Global Principles apply equally to the development and use of the VA EA. Additionally, development and use of the VA EA is guided by three outcome-based principles applied within the VA EA End-to-End (E2E) Process, which is documented in the VA EA Architecture Development Methodology (ADM).

VA Global Principles

  • Mission Alignment – VA processes, information, and systems are conceived, designed, operated, and managed to address the Veteran-centric mission needs of the Department.
  • Asset Visibility and Accessibility – VA Service, Data, and Application Assets are visible, accessible, available, understandable, and trusted by all authorized users (including unanticipated users).
  • Data Interoperability – VA Information is made interoperable through data standardization, including the identification, designation, and utilization of authoritative sources.
  • Infrastructure Interoperability – VA IT Infrastructure is made interoperable through definition and enforcement of standards, interface profiles, and implementation guidance.
  • Information Security – VA provides a secure network, IT environment, and security controls for the storage and collaborative sharing of information assets (e.g., information, services) with Veterans, their families, and other partners. These include (among others) Federal agencies, third-party service providers, academia, researchers, and businesses.
  • Enterprise Services – VA solutions are built as common services using enterprise standards where similar business use cases exist.

VA EA Guiding Principles

  • Question Based – Questions are created based on business needs with the intent that their answers will indicate that the business needs were met. Complex needs are decomposed into a hierarchy of questions that are used to plan multiple VA EA releases to meet the original needs. Entities and their relationships that drive changes to the VA EA are identified for each question. These entities can span the strategic, business, data, systems, infrastructure, and security domains.
  • Enterprise Perspective – Through integration and federation of Administration- and Staff Office-approved data, the VA EA depicts the relationships among VA’s various parts. Entities across VA align and adhere to a common language and structure through the VA Enterprise Architecture Repository (VEAR) Logical Data Model and are related to other entities that all align to a business need. This enables business users to see their particular needs within the context of the larger VA and encourages reuse.
  • Tool Agnostic – Architecture information is shareable across VA at the enterprise, segment, and solution levels independent of the modeling tools with which it was created.

Compliance & Standards