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Architecting government IT for the Minnesota's future

Adopting an architecture framework for Minnesota state government helps make our technology systems more effective and cost-efficient.

Architecture Review Board Approval Process for Policies and Standards

4/19/2010 Read the full document.


What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture is a framework for Minnesota state information technology that helps align the information technology (IT) investments and implementations with the enterprise’s business strategies.

The program highlights interrelationships among agency business operations and the underlying technologies that support operations. It includes the comprehensive business, information and service architecture for state information systems.

Minnesota has adopted the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, which includes a business architecture, an information architecture, and a service architecture. When implemented effectively, this helps us streamline maintenance and integrations,  and eliminate costs and efforts spent in duplications and incompatibilities.



The Enterprise Architecture Review Board and Governance Structure

The State of Minnesota has established a comprehensive Enterprise Architecture program (EAP) through the Office of Enterprise Technology, which works with the agencies as a community. The EAP harmonizes and coordinates information and telecommunications technology systems and services.

The primary outputs of the architecture program are policies, standards, guidelines and processes that communicate the state’s information technology architecture direction and decisions. These artifacts are developed under the direction of a formal Architecture Review Board (ARB) through the governance process of four architecture domain groups, and formally issued by the State Chief Information Officer (CIO).

This collaborative process starts with a need that is identified and articulated. Potential solutions are researched and proposed policies, standards and guidelines (the artifacts) are formulated and vetted by representatives of the agencies. The artifacts are available on the Office of Enterprise Technology’s website for examination by agencies, vendors and the general public.

Goals of the enterprise architecture governance process are:

  • To create alignment within the IT community by providing leadership and direction

  • Closing the gaps among agencies and encouraging cross-agency collaboration and integration.
  • Cost avoidance by communicating and capitalizing on existing due diligence and implementations.



What are policies, standards and guidelines?

Policies, standards and guidelines help provide direction and guidance for information technology processes in Minnesota state government.

  • A policy is a senior leadership statement that indicates the direction or intent of an organizational propose for a given subject area.

  • A standard is a general or specific directive constraining detail decisions. A standard describes what must be done. It is required (normative). A guideline is non-mandatory.

  • A guideline may provide historical and background information, describe the intended use of the standard, or explain ways to meet the standard. A guideline amplifies a standard (informative).

The Approval Process

All proposals should be submitted to the Enterprise Architecture Office (EAO). Any part of Minnesota government may submit a proposal for an artifact. The proposal need not be complete but must be submitted in writing and include the identified need. Once a proposal to create a standard has been accepted, it is available for viewing; interested parties may comment on proposals at any time.

The Enterprise Architecture Policy will normally serve as the accompanying policy for all Architecture standards. Guidelines do not require approval, but will normally accompany their associated standard and (if any, policy) documents through the process.

Read the entire Architecture Review Board Policy and Standard Approval Process

Process Steps

  1. First, the EAO staff reviews the proposal and considers it. The proposal is referred to the appropriate Architecture Domain Team if the subject matter is within the Enterprise Architecture purview and does not duplicate existing work. Security-related policies, standards and guidelines are referred to the Enterprise Security Office.

  2. The proposal is then reviewed by one of the Architecture Domain Teams.

  3. Drafts are developed by the subject matter experts within the teams.

  4. Final proposals are submitted to the following groups for review: the Architecture Review Board, the Chief Information Officer Council, the Program Review Team, the Commissioners' Technology Advisory Board.

  5. The final policy and/or standard is then submitted to the State Chief Information Officer for signature and publication.




Contact Us


Email the Enterprise Architecture group at the Office of Enterprise Technology.
Jeffrey Fanning
Enterprise Architect
Youssef Haddad
Enterprise Application Architect
Ellena Schoop
Enterprise Data Architect
Jay Wyant, Chief Information Accessibility Officer
text: 612.825.8285