Data and Enterprise Architecture Development for the Air Force: An Information Technology Case Study
We utilized our expertise in ontology, vocabulary development, and enterprise architecture to develop the Personnel Enterprise Architecture and the Personnel Vocabulary for the Air Force A1 Human Resources domain. These products and the associated analyses were essential to the development of the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) for the A1 domain.
Introduction and Problem Statement
In the past, IT systems within the Air Force A1 Human Resources (AF/A1) domain were very complex and inefficient. The Air Force acquired IT applications in a stove-piped manner, designed to meet an immediate need for a small number of processes. Whenever a business process changed or expanded, new IT was developed, rarely leveraging the resources already in use elsewhere in the domain. No coherent enterprise architecture existed to capture business needs and provide a path for the future.
Complexity in the IT systems led to a corresponding problem for data: duplication and gaps. Each iteration of applications still required HR data from other sources, leading to a proliferation of interfaces and networks. Data is replicated across numerous applications, losing consistency along the way as the data is modified to meet application-specific needs. As the copying takes place, the ability for the customer to rely upon the data as “authoritative” is degraded.
Kepler developed the Air Force A1 Personnel Enterprise Architecture for the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services (MP&S). This work included analysis and documentation of the as-is and to-be architectures for the AF/A1 domain. The effort required interaction with process owners across the AF/A1 domain and an in-depth understanding of the business and technical architectures within the domain. We developed Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) compliant views of the AF/A1 Enterprise Architecture, ensuring the operational and systemic aspects of the organization were thoroughly captured.
We also developed the Air Force A1 Personnel Vocabulary for MP&S. This work included the production of an AF/A1 Data Dictionary, the articulation of semantic relationships between vocabulary elements, the evaluation of vocabulary development & maintenance tools, and AF/A1 ontology development & maintenance. Our work was an essential part in the development of the AF/A1 Service-Oriented Architecture, which will be utilized for both legacy and future AF enterprise-level systems.