Defining a Profession with the Zachman Framework

We use the Zachman framework to describe and manage our enterprises, but can we use it as a reference for defining the IT profession? Karen has been using the Zachman Framework to answer the who, what, when, where, and why’s of the IT profession in her work at the international level on information technology standards and practices.

Her presentation will describe the fundamental components of a profession, including professional responsibility, right-to-practice, protection of the public, common bodies of knowledge, and certification & licensure. Karen will show how the mapping of professional concepts against the Framework can be used to plan for and manage the IT profession, specifically in the data mangement area. She will describe her work to ensure that data management is give the proper priority and exposure in current IT profession conflicts.


Karen Lopez, I.S.P, is the principal consultant at InfoAdvisors, a Toronto-based consulting organization. Karen has been working in the data management field for 19 years. She is ListMistress of the InfoAdvisors discussion groups. She was an invited speaker on this topic at John Zachman’s ZIFA Forum. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at IRMAC and DAMA International events.

Karen is the former Director of Professional Standards of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) and has been an ex officio member of the CIPS Certification Council, the Information Systems Accreditation Council, the Computer Science Accreditation Council, the College Program Accreditation Council and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Special Projects Accreditation Council. She served on a consultative workshop representing CIPS and the IT Profession for the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology. Karen is a former president of IRMAC.

Professionalism Issues in IT

Provincial engineering associations consider many software activities to be engineering work. And they want to stop anyone who is not a licensed Professional Engineer from performing them. This presentation explains the background and issues underlying this dispute. In particular:

  • The efforts the professional engineers have and are making to convert software engineering into a licensed profession.
  • The implications for IT practitioners who lack a P.Eng.
  • Why SE is fundamentally different than conventional engineering
  • Whether the IT industry is ready for standards of practice.
  • The roles of accreditation and certification.


Paul Bassett, M.Sc. I.S.P.(ret), is an internationally respected authority on software engineering. His 1987 IEEE paper, �Frame-based Software Engineering�, was republished in Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister�s Software State-of-the-Art as one of the most significant papers of that decade. In 1989 Paul received the Information Technology Innovation Award from the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) for inventing Frame Technology, a process that automatically produces custom software from adaptable components (frames). Paul has authored numerous publications, including Framing Software Reuse: Lessons from the Real World, cited by Ed Yourdon as the “the best book about reuse I’ve seen in my career.” Paul also co-authored the IEEE�s Standard P1517: Software Reuse Lifecycle Processes, and has helped many IT organizations to improve their software development practices.

Known as an informative and provocative speaker, Paul has given keynote addresses around the world, and was a member of the IEEE�s Distinguished Visitor Program from 1998 – 2001. Paul continues to advise university researchers, perform computer science accreditation visits, chair the CIPS Committee on Software Engineering Issues, write papers and articles, and present at conferences. He has been a CIPS board member, and he co-chaired their Certification Council. In 1981 he co-founded Netron Inc., was its SVP until divesting and retiring in 2002. Prior to that Mr. Bassett taught computer science at York University for seven years.


Paul Bassett, Professionalism Issues in IT


Mar 16 2005


8:30 am - 11:30 am


The Ontario Club, 5th Floor, Commerce Court South 30 Wellington Street West (Bay and Wellington), Toronto

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