Effective use of an enterprise architecture (EA) is a hallmark of successful organizations and an essential means to achieving a desired end: having operations and technology environments that maximize institutional mission performance and outcomes. Among other things, this includes realizing cost savings through consolidation and reuse of shared services and elimination of antiquated and redundant mission operations, enhancing information sharing through data standardization and system integration, and optimizing service delivery through streamlining and normalization of business processes and mission operations. Not using an EA can result in organizational operations and supporting technology infrastructures and systems that are duplicative, poorly integrated, unnecessarily costly to maintain and interface, and unable to respond quickly to shifting environmental factors. To assist organizations in successfully developing, maintaining, and using an EA, GAO is issuing this major update to its Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework. Its purpose is to provide a flexible benchmark against which to plan for and measure EA program maturity. To develop the update, GAO solicited comments from 27 federal departments and agencies, as well as representatives from the private sector, state governments, and academia, and it leveraged its prior experience in applying the framework. The framework consists of three interrelated components: (1) seven hierarchical stages of management maturity; (2) four representations of management attributes that are critical to the success of any program or organizational endeavor; and (3) 59 elements, or building blocks, of EA management that are at the core of an EA program. Each of the seven maturity stages reflects those EA management conditions that an enterprise should meet to logically build on the capability established at the preceding stage. As such, the stages provide a road map for systematically maturing or evolving an organization's capacity to manage an EA. The stages are: Stage 0: Creating EA Awareness; Stage 1: Establishing EA Institutional Commitment and Direction; Stage 2: Creating the Management Foundation for EA Development and Use; Stage 3: Developing Initial EA Versions; Stage 4: Completing and Using an Initial EA Version for Targeted Results; Stage 5: Expanding and Evolving the EA and Its Use for Institutional Transformation; Stage 6: Continuously Improving the EA and Its Use to Achieve Corporate Optimization. The four critical success attribute representations provide different and complementary ways to view and thus understand the 59 core elements. The four are referred to as the (1) EA Management Action Representation, (2) EA Functional Area Representation, (3) Office of Management and Budget Capability Area Representation, and (4) EA Enabler Representation. Each provides a unique perspective on the focus and nature of the framework's core elements. The 59 core elements are collectively the EA practices, structures, activities, and conditions that, when properly employed based on the unique facts and circumstances of each organization and the stated purpose of its EA program, can permit that organization to progress to increasingly higher states of EA management maturity and thereby maximize its chances of realizing an EA's institutional value.