To be fair, the items in this list are NOT from the EBMM and are therefore not part of the ontology of terms related to the existence of an enterprise.  These terms are specific to the processes and methods of Enterprise Architecture as a practice and a profession.  For that reason, this page is not labeled with the “Ontology” term.  This is just a glossary.

These terms were provided to me by the Center for the Advancement of the EA Profession.  I did not create them.

Base Temporal Terms

Current State

The state of the enterprise at a specific instant on or near the present day including all in-flight and completed initiatives.

Future State

A state of the enterprise at some fixed point in the future where various initiatives converge.

Transition State

A temporary state, some time in the future, that describes the arrangement of enterprise elements as they will exist.  This concept is typically used when modelling a series of states between current state and future state.

Base Governance Terms

Milestone Assessment

An assessment of one or more enterprise initiatives as they relate to the roadmap.

Architectural Permit

An architectural governance right allowing programs and projects to continue to move forward.


Stage Gate

A business governance right based on funding for a specific initiative.  Prototyping, manufacturing, production are common stage gates used in industrial design. In software development, proposal, design, development, and go-live are common stage gates.

Architectural Significance

A determination whether a change, update, or addition requires architectural guidance or not.

Architectural Concern(s)

A simple technology-centric taxonomy for categorizing architectural constraints. Information, business, application, and infrastructure are each groups of architectural concerns.

Enterprise Segment

An area of the enterprise chosen to be the scope of a set of architectural models and artifacts.  Typically, a segment is selected to include a coherent set of functions, services, or shared capabilities.


Architectural Perspective

A commonly used taxonomy of views useful for creating models of an enterprise. Standard perspectives include Contextual, Conceptual, Logical, and Physical.

Architectural Opportunity

A point of leverage of an architectural decision or intention. Examples include decisions that lead to greater flexibility, scalability, business agility, or responsiveness to security threats.

Architectural Governance

The subset of enterprise governance decision rights delegated to architectural governance bodies or directly impacted by architectural information and insight.


The documented reasoning behind the architectural decisions.

Common Terms

Architectural Model

A set of related concepts reflecting the structure and/or behaviour of a social or technical system.

Architectural Diagram

One or more representations of an architectural model, typically illustrating a subset of concepts necessary to address the concerns of a single viewpoint.


The set of related structural decisions that constrain one or more problem and solution domains with intention.

Architectural Vision

A statement of architectural principles that guides the transformation of organizational intent into structural and behavioural concerns for the systems of an organization.