GC Enterprise Architecture/10 Things You Need to Know

Policy(ies) and directive(s) the Enterprise Architecture Division responsible for:

Due diligence function of the Enterprise Architecture Division:

The GC EARB was established by the Chief Information Officer of Canada, as required by the Policy on Service and Digital, and is mandated to define current and target architecture standards for the Government of Canada and review departmental proposals for alignment. Most pivotal of these architecture standards is the GC Service and Digital Target State Enterprise Architecture.  This is now the primary architecture reference for all departments (as applies) for the digital enablement of Government of Canada services. Alignment to the target state model, as assessed against the criteria of the Enterprise Architecture Framework, informs the endorsement of departmental digital investment proposals presented to the GC EARB.

The Board is co-chaired by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Canada (TBS) and the CTO of SSC, with membership drawn from across the major departments and specialist roles in TBS and SSC.  

To fulfill the GC EARB mandate, TBS OCIO Enterprise Architecture collaborates with departmental architects to:

  • Develop target architecture standards across the domains of Business, Information/Data, Application, Technology and Security (BIATS)
  • Provide central coordination of Networks of Expertise for Enterprise Architecture, Data, Cloud, Digital workspace & Cyber to develop enterprise solutions and share best practices
  • Engage with Departmental project and architecture leads to help ensure their proposals are well-prepared in advance of their GC EARB review date, and provide advice and recommendations to improve alignment.

Further information is available in the "Service & Digital Target Enterprise Architecture - White Paper"

When to consult the Enterprise Architecture Division:

The GC Enterprise Architecture team is available to engage with departments if the department contact the team directly or through the OCIO Committee Secretariat, such as when the department is required to present a digital investment or project to the GC EARB for review and endorsement, as outlined in the When to come page on the GC EARB wiki.

The GC EARB presentation typically occurs after the Concept Case has been completed and before the Treasury Board submission, if one is required.  Projects not subject to a TB submission may also be required to present at GC EARB.  This is done in the planning and design phase of the project lifecycle, before formal execution has begun.  It will articulate how the business problem is addressed by the proposed solution and demonstrate alignment with GC digital standards and architectural requirements. It may include an options analysis leading to the recommended solution.

Types of authorities related to the Policy (link to commonly sought authorities webpage).

Presentation of a project before the GC EARB results in an endorsement and direction from the Government of Canada Chief Information Officer. Although no Treasury Board authorities are sought in the enterprise architecture review process, when a Treasury Board Submission seeks TB authorities (e.g., funding for the project or project approvals) later in the process, an endorsed architecture would form part of the necessary documentation for the Office of the Chief Information Officer to support a project.

Key due diligence questions to consider:

  • Does the proposed project/investment meet the threshold criteria set in the Directive on Service and Digital for requiring GC EARB review?
    • Note: The checklist of criteria applied in the assessments is found in the appendices of the GC EARB Presenter Template used for departmental submissions to GC EARB.
  • Would the client department benefit from an engagement with the GC Enterprise Architecture team to help draft the GC EARB presenter template for the project?
  • Are there other departments working on solutions for the same business capability that should be engaged?

How does Enterprise Architecture Division provide advice?

In most instances, the Enterprise Architecture team is consulted for preliminary review of a department’s proposed solution architecture to provide advice on how to strengthen the presentation to highlight key points, demonstrated expected alignment to GC requirements and avoid issues that would hinder endorsement.  The EA team also produces a one-page Enterprise Architecture Assessment of the project that is included in the template as part of the review package, with ratings on alignment, a recommendation on endorsement, and possible conditions.

The EA team collaborates with the OCIO Committee Secretariat and other key subject matter experts from TBS and SSC to review prepare upcoming GC EARB agendas in advance of the sessions.  After the meetings, the EA team also helps with the drafting and initial review of the records of discussion.

Departments may also contact the EA team for general advice in establishing or managing the enterprise architecture practice in their department, or for information on various GC enterprise considerations that may related to their projects.

Linkages with other policies:

Ultimately the architectures and solutions reviewed at the GC EARB are intended to support the mandates and programs of departments (which are key elements of the business architecture), and to bring about improved results

GC EARB reviews are generally tied to the IM/IT project management framework, and thus linked to the investment management lifecycle

Security Architecture layer

Privacy layer

Additional sources of information:

Example submission related to GC EARB:

How to contact the Enterprise Architecture Division?

The team actively monitors a generic mailbox for submissions and engagements at EA.AE@tbs-sct.gc.ca. Program sector analysts are encouraged to use this email but can also reach out directly to the concept case team members.