Wednesday, 11 July 2012

ArchiMate - training and spreading the word

A colleague and I recently participated in the ArchiMate 2.0 Extensions training, a two day event with the optional Open Group exam at the end of it. With 10 delegates of different expertise levels (and different attitudes to using TOGAF) 7 chose to sit the exam. We decided not to, as we could not commit the time to the revision needed to ensure successful completion, and we have been thinking about qualifications that show how we have applied the knowledge in the real world, as opposed to what has been learnt in the classroom. We were also unsure as to the value of the qualification without that experience, during the event it was clear that some places valued the qualification more than others.
There was a lot for the trainer to fit into the two days (in reality it turned out to be just over 1 and a half days thanks to fitting the exam in at the end of day two). I found it useful in giving me confidence in what I have been doing, and helped me understand the relationships involved in ArchiMate, which has been my biggest barrier (I have been relying heavily on the magic connector in Archi!). I also found that it helped my thinking, along side Sams blogs in here! Feedback from the training showed that people wanted to do more examples, although the training did a number of examples throughout the two days it was clear that people involved wanted more.
My colleague and I had a lot of discussion about how we saw the official training, and how it fit with our own intention to deliver some training through the Benefits Realisation funding from JISC. We realised a couple of things for our (much shorter) events:
  • Value of building up a model needs to be clear at the start, along with the acknowledgement of the amount of work this can take!
  • Working on 'paper' for the first examples is a good idea before introducing a tool like Archi. But 'paper' on its own can cause problems, using 'signed' post-it notes to allow you to move elements around would be useful for discussion purposes.
  • There is a quick acceptance that paper will only take you so far before you need a tool like Archi to develop more complex models for examples
  • Examples for us need to be relevant to HE, perhaps around Assessment, Course Information and Course Development (three popular areas within Staffordshire University)
  • Group work brings out the best discussions as long as they are with individuals with similar experience (having someone in the group with more experience can cause the team to split) 
  • Group work needs to split people from the same institution into different teams (unless they make up one team, otherwise again the team can split)
It is worth noting whilst we were studying away on this Open Group course, we had a number of colleagues attending a one day JISC lead Enterprise Architecture workshop ( this blog mentions a hands on tutorial that might be useful.

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