EA – Make an impact and enjoy

Enterprise Architecture is all about making an impact to the organization in various perspectives like technical, financial, business, organization, information, infrastructure and etc. Making an impact to organization will not happen if some one just does his/her job. EA must enjoy and love their job to make an impact to the organization. The love and joy should not be synthesized but naturally initiated and developed.

The real meaning of success is making an impact and enjoy what you do every day – Dr. Ralph Shrader , Chairman & CEO of Booz | Allen | Hamilton. This concept applies to all the jobs in general. The Enterprise architects in the IT organization are the roles have very high likelihood of making an impact to the IT organization. If you want to be a successful Enterprise Architect and make an impact to the organization, understand the EA, navigate the organization, add value to stakeholders and ENJOY doing it every day.

Delphi Technique – A must have for an Enterprise Architect

Enterprise architect provides a service to internal customers (who are also fellow employees of the same organization). The value of the enterprise architects are demonstrated to the organization by providing value added  consultation and services to the projects team, senior management team and office of CIO. For instance, enterprise architects shall create a technology road map, the future technologies must be used by the organization for any future projects. The project team who wants to follow the road map may not have enough technological exposure to take steps to implement the component of the technology road map in their projects. There may be many reasons not to follow the technology road map by the project teams. The reasons could be political, technical, operational, irrational, and etc. Most frequently the reasons would be presented as rational but the real core reason could be irrational. Until the EA really understands the motive of not following the technology road map, the EA is not going to be successful in the organization. It is a must for a successful enterprise architect to understand the real motive. Why the road maps are not followed? There could be a real issue in following the road map. For instance, if the technology road map indicates to use BPMS for all future projects. The project who understand the technology road map wants to use this technology in their project, but the vendor may be very inflexible in their license, or it could be expensive, there could be resource constraints in the job market and etc. The EA who walk away after creating the road map will not face the problems but their recommendation will not be followed in the organization for legitimate reasons.

Sometimes the reasons would not be legitimate reasons. The project teams do not want take risk by adapting new technology to their project. Could be due to, cost of the resources in the technology, creditability of the EA team, unknown reasons.

It is non technical problem and it is more organizational political problem. There is no logic directly required to solve this kind of problem. When no logic is followed on purpose, then it becomes logical. This topic deserves a separate blog posting. (Topic: ” No logic on purpose is also logical”)

In this case, Delphi technique is one of the best technique to understand why EA recommendation is not accepted and followed. By engaging on the informal discussion with the various stakeholders in the organization and correlating it would provide the insight on the real motive of the key stakeholders for not following the technology road maps.

The technology road map is an example. There are many areas this technique would be followed by EA and IT strategist. There are numerous area where the similar problem exist, delphi technique is a best way to go around and get into the crux of the problem. EA should be mastered in this technique to be the best EA and provide the greater value to their internal customers.

Key deliverables of Enterprise Architecture – High level overview

In an executive summary level, the top 5 Key deliverables of Enterprise Architecture:

  1. Road maps (technology, process, people road maps. Study the maturity,adoption and business application of specific technologies , processes )
  2. Application portfolio management (includes management of “AS IS” information (application, infrastructure, information, business, finance, organization),assessment and recommendation to eliminate over laps)
  3. Scenario Planning (what if analysis for an organization)
  4. Standards & policies (Technology, processes, products,patterns)
  5. IT Risk management (aligned to the enterprise risk management plan)

Enterprise architect provides thought leadership to teams in an organization to believe and implement the above deliverables in their service and solution delivery.