Tribal Nation Reference Architecture Guide

Author(s): Larry Fretz, Linda Arredondo


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Tribal nations are often unclear as to how strategic decisions are made, why priority is given to certain objectives, and how the overall strategic planning process is achieved. Tribal nations require a unified and validated view of tribal capabilities that aligns initiatives, investments, and strategy in order to further their nation building efforts.

The Tribal Nation Reference Architecture provides a basis for development of IT solutions that encompass all departments, programs, and services that deliver the greatest value, eliminate duplication, increase efficiency, and reduce cost.

Successful nation building requires planning that:

  • Accurately reflects your tribal nation capabilities.
  • Is traceable so all levels can understand how decisions are made.
  • Makes efficient use of your tribal nation’s resources.

In order to accomplish this, the reference architect must engage contributors to document the current state of your tribal nation and drive planning with a customized reference architecture. Using this reference architecture will help you:

  • Demonstrate the value of IT’s role in supporting your tribal nation’s capabilities while highlighting the importance of proper alignment between nation building and IT strategies.
  • Recognize the opportunity for architecture work, analyze the current and target states of your tribal nation’s strategy, and identify and engage the appropriate contributors.
  • Apply reference architecture techniques such as strategy maps, value streams, and capability maps to design usable and accurate blueprints of your tribal nation.
  • Assess your initiatives and priorities to determine if you are investing in the right capabilities. Conduct capability assessments to identify opportunities and to prioritize projects.

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