Levels Of Abstraction

In an Enterprise Architecture model there are different levels.

Levels of Abstraction / Levels of Concern

The level of concerns are used to classify the same concept at several different levels of detail from the perspective of different stakeholders..

The top two levels of concern, the Strategy & Business Vision level and the Reference Architecture Level are the concern of the Enterprise Architecture team
The next two levels of concern, the Solution Architecture levels (system analysis and physical design) are the concern of the delivery project teams.
The bottom level of concern is the concern of the IT Operations and IT Support teams.
It doesn’t represent concepts and models but the actual business and IT assets in the live production environment managed by IT Operations and IT Support teams.


A key benefit of these Levels of Concern is that it provides a distinction between the different models that the Enterprise Architecture team and the solution architecture models that will be produced by the delivery project teams.

Levels of Concern / Stakeholders

Each Architecture Domain in the Enterprise Architecture is divided into different levels of concern and detail.

Levels of Detail Stakeholders/Roles
Strategy & Business Vision Strategists, Management, Planners
Reference Architecture Enterprise Architects, Business Areas
Solution Architecture – System Analysis Delivery Projects - Solution Architects
Solution Architecture – Physical Design Delivery Projects - Application Designers
Execution (operational) IT Operations and IT Support

Each level is the focus of different stakeholders and contains increasing levels of detail and a narrower scope and context from the top level (Strategy & Business Vision) down to the Execution (operational) level.
Enterprise Architects are focused on a different set of concerns than Solution Architects and Application Designers, namely high-level abstractions, structural issues and a holistic view across all the different architecture perspectives.
Enterprise Architects work with the interactions between different business processes, applications, information and technology, rather than the internal workings of applications.
With reference to the Levels of Concern in the Enterprise Architecture Framework, Enterprise Architects tend to work with the top two levels of concern: Strategy & Vision, and Reference Architecture, to inform on Architecture Decisions and the direction of the Target Enterprise Architecture. Application Designers and Solution Architects tend to work at the lower two level of concern:
System Analysis & Physical Design levels, working on application designs and specifications, areas where the Enterprise Architect will usually just act in a supervisory or consulting role.

Traceability between Levels of Concern

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