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A "Brick" is a EA tool used in planning and communication. It is based on the NIH Enterprise Architecture Brick





  • Things we are watching because they look promising for our organization
  • Things we wish to evaluate
  • Useful to track innovation work
  • Recommended for use in 2 - 5 years 
  • Things we plan to invest in when 
    • they mature and/or are "ripe" for consumption
    • or we as an organization mature and/or are ready to consume
  • Recommended for use for 0 - 2 years
  • Worthy of investment for immediate needs




  • Recommended for use now
  • Things that are in use and have full support
  • Things in which we do not currently want to increase our investment
  • Things that may deliver great value
  • scheduled for end-of-life

Brick Usage

  • In the technical space, "things" refer to technologies, tools, and protocols.
  • A thing can exist in one or more brick categories. For example, "HTTP" may be both baseline and containment, while "HTTPS" is both baseline and "tactical". 
  • "tactical" and "strategic" can provide roadmap qualifications to baseline things
  • Typical lifecycle of things in a brick: emerging -> baseline -> containment -> retirement
  • Scope of a brick can vary, but the brick becomes less useful when it is too big or too small.
  • Strive for an open environment with one brick per domain area rather one brick to communicate to customers and one brick for internal team communication

Brick Examples



  • How to track pilots?
  • How to track things that have been evaluated and dismissed ("misfit bricks")?
  • How do we capture investment levels?
  • Should a brick communicate service levels? How do we communicate how long we expect to endorse something for?



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