Zachman Framework

The Zachman Framework is an enterprise ontology and is a fundamental structure for Enterprise Architecture (EA) which provides a formal and structured way of viewing and defining an enterprise.

Snippet from Wikipedia: Zachman Framework

The Zachman Framework is an enterprise ontology and is a fundamental structure for Enterprise Architecture which provides a formal and structured way of viewing and defining an enterprise. The ontology is a two dimensional classification schema that reflects the intersection between two historical classifications. The first are primitive interrogatives: What, How, When, Who, Where, and Why. The second is derived from the philosophical concept of reification, the transformation of an abstract idea into an instantiation. The Zachman Framework reification transformations are: Identification, Definition, Representation, Specification, Configuration and Instantiation.

The Zachman Framework is not a methodology in that it does not imply any specific method or process for collecting, managing, or using the information that it describes.; rather, it is an ontology whereby a schema for organizing architectural artifacts (in other words, design documents, specifications, and models) is used to take into account both who the artifact targets (for example, business owner and builder) and what particular issue (for example, data and functionality) is being addressed.

The framework is named after its creator John Zachman, who first developed the concept in the 1980s at IBM. It has been updated several times since.