Friday, August 21, 2009

Keys to Enterprise Architecture Success

I have long held the belief that Enterprise Architecture is as much about soft skills as it is about the traditional modelling, analysis, etc technical aspects of the discipline. In this post I have included some paraphrased insight from Mike Rollings (Burton Group).

The key point that I want to emphasise in this post is that EA is extreemely powerful when it is applied to supporting key organisational decision making. Noting that these decisions are going to be made by executives, EA by stealth and influence is demanded.

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Making architecture relevant in an organization requires more than the application of brute force. It involves applying both influence and integrated governance.

Successful architects have realized for years that they do not control decision making in an organization.

The most successful EA programs influence many types of business and IT decisions.

Focusing energy on business outcomes and influencing decisions is critical.

1 comment:

Alex Jouravlev, Business Abstraction said...

Alex,

You are absolutely right, you need soft skills, you need to influence both business and IT. However I wouldn't consider soft skills a complete antithesis of formal modelling.
Of cause, if by modellig you mean as-is process mapping or code-level class diagrams, there would be nothing "soft" about that. However I found Business Motivation Modelling hugely beneficial for establishing communication with higher-level executives, our Business Service Analysis facilitates business communication, and of cause conceptual class modelling is one of the activities that can bring business and IT together.

I think that an Architect achieves more on the soft side by staying Architect, ie a person who uses abstraction and diagramming when suitable in addition to emotional intelligence, communicaiton skills and good networking.

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