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.
The best managers always take their time to hire the best candidate for a job. There are opinions about the traits of good hiring manager. Finding a best fit allows to have a win-win scenario for both employees and employers. It is relatively straight forward to find a best fit for a technology role or in general, when the roles and responsibilities are clear and globally understood in the organization.
The role of an enterprise architect should be crystal clear to the enterprise architecture teams (if not, it is bigger problem and hiring the best enterprise architect is not relevant). In larger organizations, the over all understanding of an enterprise architect role is not clear. When I asked few managers, senior managers, directors, vice presidents in different areas(IT application, Business infrastructure, shared service area) about their understanding of enterprise architect role, most of them had different understanding and way off from the reality. That is one of the challenge for an enterprise architect to navigate the organization to ensure their value proposition and demonstrate it to the key stakeholders.
I look for these top 10 skills from an enterprise architect:
- Abstract thinking
- Leadership skills
- Executive level communication (ability to communicate to the senior executives effectively)
- Analytical (structure a given problem, garner factual data, perform quantitative analysis and present a solution for a given problem)
- Vertical thinking
- Diplomatic (humbly assertive)
- EA & Strategy concepts
- Turning vision/strategic objectives into working plans
- Attitude (team player, more I’s used the less qualified EA)
- Correlation skills (connecting the dots of multiple disjoint events)
To me, mastered EA frameworks, using the right buzz words (like SOA, BPM, web 2.0 etc), worked in big 4 in the enterprise architecture area does not necessarily qualify to become a successful EA in a team which believes EA has a ROI. I believe my vision of EA team will work on requests like provide various scenarios to reduce the over all IT G&A budget by 10% without affecting the quality, quantity of services and head count. EA will present the various existing scenarios (scenario planning) in the organization to achieve this goal withing the given parameters and over coming the constrains. Knowledge can be always be learned and acquired.
For the above EA/IT Strategist role and to generate this level of value to an organization, how to hire the best candidate?
Hiring process consists of structure, clarity on the requirement, assessment of candidate skills and intuition. I had great success, ok success with fine tuning after the hire and utterly wrong in the judgment.
How to hire the best EA/IT Strategist?
- Filter the resumes
- Screen the filtered resumes over phone (look for communication, passion, knowledge, thrive, drive, openness, listening)
- Bring the screened candidate for a group interview
- Start with personal stuff like hobbies, drive time, why they want to join, their current understanding of the requirement, articulation of the employers requirements etc
- During the interview, look for the following
- Smarter than me (EA Manager). Drive the right conclusion faster.
- Ask them to analyze an incremental problem and focus on the approach and not on the solution. Incremental problem: provide a simple problem and keep increasing the constraints
- Seek for the correlation skills (how they are connecting the dots)
- How much patience they show in understanding the grass root of the problem
The above procedure helped to get great EA/IT Strategiest candidates and worked 83.33% of time.