Zachman Framework (Example, Benefits, and Certification)

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Zachman Framework

Zachman Framework is one of the most famous enterprise architecture frameworks today. It provides a structure for organizing information about its business processes and systems.

This blog post will discuss the Zachman Framework, its working, its examples, its benefits, and how you can use it to improve your organization’s architecture.

What is Zachman Framework?

John Zachman created this Framework in the late 1980s, becoming the most widely accepted framework for enterprise architecture. It provides a structure for organizing information about an organization’s business, processes, data, applications, and technology.

It helps to ensure that all aspects of an organization are considered when making decisions about system changes or upgrades.

How does it work?

It divides enterprise architecture into six domains: business, data, process, application, infrastructure, and technology. Each domain is further divided into sub-domains.

For example, the business domain includes goals and objectives, strategy execution, value chain, and customers.

It is based on the idea that organizations should be able to answer two questions about any aspect of their business: “What does it do?” and “How does it do it?” Therefore, the framework provides a structure for organizing information to find answers to these questions.

The two parts of it:

  • The fact model incorporates consumers, suppliers, products, and services.
  • A design model shows how these facts are represented within an organization’s systems.

This uses rows to represent different perspectives or viewpoints on enterprise architecture (e.g., strategic planning vs. operations). In addition, columns represent artifacts created during system development (e.g., requirements specifications or process flows).

It collects information related to one viewpoint and artifact type pair. As a result, it provides answers to both questions (“What does it do?”) and (“How does it do it?”). This helps businesses understand specific areas of their work.


Zachman Framework Benefits

There are many benefits to using this for enterprise architecture. Some of the most notable include:

  • improved clarity and communication about systems and processes;
  • better decision-making due to a more holistic view of the organization;
  • increased efficiency due to standardized methods; and
  • reduced costs due to improvements in system performance.

Zachman Framework Example

The below example provides a structure for organizing information about an organization’s business, processes, data, applications, and technology.

Infographic of Zachman Framework

Detailed Structure

The framework consists of 36 cells, each focusing on the enterprise’s perspective. Rows represent the viewpoints involved in the system development process, and columns represent the perspective of the stakeholders.

Columns of framework

  • What (data)
  • How (function)
  • Where (network)
  • Who (people)
  • When(time)
  • Why (motivation)

Rows of framework

  • Scope contexts (Planner’s view) – Represents business purpose and strategy.
  • Business concepts(Owners view) – Represents the part of the enterprise that can be automated.
  • System logic (Designers’ view) – This represents how the system fulfills the business’s information needs.
  • Technology physics(Implementer’s view) – Represents how the system will implement.
  • Component assemblies (sub-contractors view) – Represents the implementation-specific details.
  • Operations classes (Users view) – Represents the functioning of the system.

Zachman vs TOGAF?

Zachman and TOGAF are two of the most famous enterprise architecture frameworks. But which one is right for your business?

Here is a comparison table to help you decide.

Comparison of Zachman and TOGAF Framework

While both frameworks have advantages, The answer depends on your business needs. For example, Zachman Framework is better for businesses that need to model their entire enterprise, while TOGAF is better for businesses that need a more general overview of their architecture.

Zachman Certification & Training

The Zachmann Institute offers certification in the Zachman Framework, including training courses on its website, which can be taken online or in a classroom setting.

In addition, the Zachmann Institute has a Zachman Framework Certification program that is globally recognized and provides students with the skills needed to use this effectively for their enterprise architecture needs.


Zachman Framework is a foundational framework for enterprise architecture. It provides a structure for organizing information about an organization and its business processes to make better decisions about how to design, implement, and improve those processes.

This has been around since the late 1980s and is still one of the most popular frameworks for enterprise architecture today.


Zachman definition