Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content


The NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) team was able to use and apply the NIH Enterprise Architecture to procure a new Business Process Management (BPM) software suite, saving valuable time and resources.

The NED team's recent procurement is a case study in the value of applying the Enterprise Architecture Domain Team process to a new technology acquisition. Following the Enterprise Architecture standards for procurement and the recommendations of the recent Workflow/Business Process Management (BPM) Domain Team, the NED team was able to:

  • Shorten the time required for product evaluation from the normal eight or more weeks to two weeks.
  • Leverage the exhaustive Workflow/Business Process Management (BPM) Domain Team research to evaluate how vendors in the tactical section of the Workflow/BPM Tools Brick met specific NED requirements.
  • Comply with all NIH procurement regulations.


In July of 2007, the NED team identified functional requirements that could not be met by the current technical architecture of NED. These requirements, driven by the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-12) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standards, were primarily workflow-related. One of the core goals established by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the NIH to meet the PIV standards is the development of an NIH system architecture for issuing and managing PIV badges. The Office of the Chief IT Architect (OCITA) has developed business process models that define the PIV badge issuance process. Implementation of the models by various NIH systems maximize efficiency by enabling system automation and aligning IT support processes. It is this system automation that the NED program seeks to implement with BPM software.


In August of 2007, the NED team followed the established NIH Enterprise Architecture approach to purchasing new technology by:

  • Documenting their requirements.
  • Reviewing the NIH technology patterns, including the NIH Enterprise Architecture patterns for Workflow/Business Process Management (BPM) Service Pattern to determine which technical brick best met their needs.
  • Reviewing the Workflow/BPM brick and using the Tactical component of the brick to identify potential technology vendors.
  • Leveraging the Domain Team guidance to evaluate vendors based on their particular needs.
  • Bringing vendors in for on-site demonstrations based on pre-established criteria.

Based on this approach, the NED team selected a product and received the software in early September 2007. The first phase of NED enhancements to support HSPD-12 PIV requirements is expected to enter production in Q1, 2008. The BPM software license covers use by the entire NIH, and in the future, the NED team will work with interested NIH groups to leverage this product across the enterprise.

For more information about this effort or the NIH Enterprise Architecture, please contact us.


Last Updated: November 18, 2011