I believe there has been increased clarity on the information architecture roles in the recent years. Particularly there are few good healthy discussions on how to develop an enterprise architects and what should be their roles? and what is the value proposition to an organization? In general, there is a better awareness in the senior and executive management teams to differentiate an enterprise architect with other architects (system architects, information architects, business architects, process architects and etc). It has been a challenge for the executives to define the apt size of the enterprise architects for their organization.
The question is: What is the apt size of an enterprise architecture team for an organization?
Consultant Answer: It depends..
Consultant answer is correct.
The real question is: What are the factors used to determine size of an enterprise architecture team in an organization?
The list of enterprise level factors used to determine the size of an enterprise architecture team.
- Number of products/service provided by the organization
- Revenue of the organization
- Profit of the organization
- Business Process maturity of the organization
- Finance & controlling maturity level
The list of IT factors used to determine the size of an enterprise architecture team.
- Number of people (including employees, contractors, consultants, out sourced) and their ratio
- IT budget and Finance management controls
- IT Process and system maturity level
- Enterprise architecture adaption rate (or EA maturity assessment)
Based on the above factors the EA team can be classified as large, medium and small. Large is of team size of 50+, medium is of team size between 15-50 and small is of team size less than 20. Let me emphasis the small EA team. I believe majority of the corporation will come under this category and let me expand on the small size of EA team.
Organization structure for a small size EA Team:
Chief Architect (or manager of EA team) should directly report to the CIO. Along with EA function, IT Finance management, IT Security, SOX controls, vendor management functionalities also should come under the same small size EA team.
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Architect defines the architecture. Broadly the architects are divided into the technical and business architects. The business architect are focused on the economical change of the market and devise a set of business process for enterprise or systems adaption and to attain enterprise or system’s mission and vision. The technical architects are focused on implementation of the business architecture defined to meet enterprise’s or system’s mission and vision.
The technical architects are broadly divided into
Based on the architect characteristics, the types of technical architects shall be divided into the generalist and specialist. The specialist focus on one specific area and the knowledge acquired and possessed by the architect is deep. Where as the generalist, knowledge acquired and possessed in a set of areas is broad.
System/Product architect are the generalist, responsible for the cohesive architecture solution of the system or product. They have equal strength in the both technical and business area. Plays a vital role to bring all the stake holders together and ensure all the stake holders concern’s are captured methodologically, formally documented and validated. Assist the project manager to make the management decision and makes key technical decision for the project/system/product. Brings all the technical architects, development teams, system analyst, and support teams together to ensure the cohesive architecture is defined to meet the stake holders concern and ensures the defined architecture is implemented. The system architecture validation is done by using the user case scenarios. +1 view of the architecture. The architecture verification is done through reviews.
Domain architects are the specialist, responsible for the architecture solution for that domain. The domain architect is an abstract definition and there are various domain architects. The domain architects specific to the web development projects are
- Application architect
- Data architect
- Information architect
- Integration architect
- Security architect
- IT Process architect
- Infrastructure architect
- Network architect
- Server architect
- Web run time architect
Solution architecture team is the set of specialist working together to research and seek solutions for a specific problem.
Applied architects are match makers. The applied architects have the known set of problems, solution and context. The architectural patterns are applied to the system or product. The architectural patterns includes to the process solution or methodology for the implementation and its style.
Enterprise architect are responsible for defining the holistic architecture solution for the entire enterprise.
For past few years, quite a few employees, contractors, consultants, right sourcing consultants in the organization asked me this question, what they should do to work for me? In other words, how they could become an enterprise architect. Generally, when someone has this question in the organization, I asked them to schedule a mentoring meeting and try to understand what they want to do and how their aspiration and ambition fits into an enterprise architect’s requirement and coach them accordingly. When this questions became a frequently asked question to me, I decided to document the state transition diagram for an enterprise architect and started providing it to whom ever wants to become an enterprise architect.
I believe this has a value to anyone who wants to become an enterprise architect. This state transition is an ideal road map to become an enterprise architect. When I attended a Gartner conference recently, I informally bounced this idea with fellow enterprise architecture managers, chief architects, chief strategist and most of them agreed that this is the ideal road map for developing enterprise architect talent in an organization.