This set of terms are related to the concerns of architects who need to relate other key concepts to a traditional hierarchical view of an enterprise. Many of the terms relevant to this area are shared terms, and appear in that list instead.

Business Unit Viewpoint highlights the elements of an enterprise architecture that are of concern to managers of business teams, departments, units or divisions.


An asset is a generalization of property owned by the enterprise.  An asset is any property controlled by a business unit through a business process. The management of that asset is subject to the constraints created by business directives.

Business Initiative

A chartered (or proposed) project or ongoing group of projects designed to change the architectural aspects of an organization, including structure, capabilities, or performance.

Typically, initiatives are chartered to create a measurable improvement in a capability, often through process improvement, technology improvement, structural change (reorganization, insourcing / outsourcing, etc), or accountability changes (governance, reporting, scorecarding, incentives).

Business Role

A set of responsibilities that can be assigned to, and performed by, a person.  A person may have more than one role, and may have a role for a short period of time.

Business Unit / Org Unit

A business unit is typically a high level division of a company.  An organizational unit is a coherent set of teams and departments, usually structured in a hierarchy. Business units are typically composed of organization units.  Organizational units exist to provide resources (money, staff, infrastructure, and governance) to enable business processes to occur.