Friday, September 01, 2006

Enterprise architects must show leadership

I have observed that in most organisation Enterprise Architect (EA) community is viewed as 'ivory tower idealogue' and creating nothing but 'PPTware'. In entire IT orgnisation no other community is derided more than Enterprise Architect community (may be project management community can compete with EA community).

The business and IT leaders sanction Enterprise Architecture organisation and budgets, partly because all analysts point to such a need. But I am not sure how convinced they are about necessity of Enterprise Architecture. The solution implementor(for lack of better word) community always wants to be left alone and do not want to be dictated to, by Enterprise Architect community.

This is not an ideal situation to be in for Enterprise Architect community, where neither your superior nor your sub-ordinates have any faith in you. Is it because Enterprise Architect community always devises these nice 'end games' or 'to be state' or what have you, but fails to lead the IT organisation to that utopia? The probelm arises when in order to reach the end-state, what needs to be done in near future is not spelt out clearly. How does one trade-off the pressures of business changes, changing technology, organisational culture and still work towards the desired end state? Enterprise Architect community must provide practical answers to address these trade-offs without losing site of end state. This is very difficult.

Just to site an example: In an IT organisation, I was working with, all funding was tied to business benefits. Now some of the infrastructural projects, that needed to be carried out in order to reach a desiraable end state, did not have any chance to be implemented. Because cost benfit analysis will stack up heavily against such project. One cannot blame business for having such stringent benefit centric approach, because in the past business had burnt millions without IT producing a single usable artifact. An Enterprise Architect needs to tread thru such situations, and provide viable and practical approaches.

This is, in essence, challenge to Enterprise Architect community and when Enterprise Architect community successfully tackle these situations, it will gain the respect of overall IT community. So the job does not end with defining Enterprise Architecture, but it is a mere start. The real challenges are in governance and deployment of Enterprise Architecture and showing necessary leadership.

2 comments:

wpbarr said...

Along the same lines, enterprise architects need to be positioned in the organization where we can be leaders.

Vilas said...

Interestingly I read this blog entry today which kind of seconds your opinion. It talks about EA manager. But if EA manager is represented at high table (at CxO level) then EAs will be able to influence the agenda.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Enterprise architects must show leadership

I have observed that in most organisation Enterprise Architect (EA) community is viewed as 'ivory tower idealogue' and creating nothing but 'PPTware'. In entire IT orgnisation no other community is derided more than Enterprise Architect community (may be project management community can compete with EA community).

The business and IT leaders sanction Enterprise Architecture organisation and budgets, partly because all analysts point to such a need. But I am not sure how convinced they are about necessity of Enterprise Architecture. The solution implementor(for lack of better word) community always wants to be left alone and do not want to be dictated to, by Enterprise Architect community.

This is not an ideal situation to be in for Enterprise Architect community, where neither your superior nor your sub-ordinates have any faith in you. Is it because Enterprise Architect community always devises these nice 'end games' or 'to be state' or what have you, but fails to lead the IT organisation to that utopia? The probelm arises when in order to reach the end-state, what needs to be done in near future is not spelt out clearly. How does one trade-off the pressures of business changes, changing technology, organisational culture and still work towards the desired end state? Enterprise Architect community must provide practical answers to address these trade-offs without losing site of end state. This is very difficult.

Just to site an example: In an IT organisation, I was working with, all funding was tied to business benefits. Now some of the infrastructural projects, that needed to be carried out in order to reach a desiraable end state, did not have any chance to be implemented. Because cost benfit analysis will stack up heavily against such project. One cannot blame business for having such stringent benefit centric approach, because in the past business had burnt millions without IT producing a single usable artifact. An Enterprise Architect needs to tread thru such situations, and provide viable and practical approaches.

This is, in essence, challenge to Enterprise Architect community and when Enterprise Architect community successfully tackle these situations, it will gain the respect of overall IT community. So the job does not end with defining Enterprise Architecture, but it is a mere start. The real challenges are in governance and deployment of Enterprise Architecture and showing necessary leadership.

2 comments:

wpbarr said...

Along the same lines, enterprise architects need to be positioned in the organization where we can be leaders.

Vilas said...

Interestingly I read this blog entry today which kind of seconds your opinion. It talks about EA manager. But if EA manager is represented at high table (at CxO level) then EAs will be able to influence the agenda.