Saturday, November 9, 2013

What is more important? Enterprise Architecture or Architect

Human is still the master of any tools.

A good architecture with poor implementation gives poor results. And a popular EA framework won't guarantee to produce good architecture. It spurs an interesting debate: What is more important, enterprise architecture or enterprise architect?

The origin of the word architect means "master builder", which would imply that the architect should be a master. The 'master builder' must realize the changes in a new or changed organization. And must influence/collaborate/work together with other parts of the organization to help with construction and then check that plans have been implemented correctly. If this is truly the case, why do organizations spend so much time on frameworks and not in finding the right architect?

The framework is one of the tools in the EA kitbag, but the entire process of being an EA involves understanding the enterprise. It is, therefore, all about the EA and the ability of the EA to engage with the enterprise, with its tools and technologies, with the engineering and development teams and with the client with whom the EA seeks to engage.

"A fool with a tool is still a fool”: As say going, the Enterprise Architect makes the difference. He or she is the one who adopts a framework, talks to people, engages with the internal customer, and understands the undocumented requirements. What are missing is good enterprise architects who have the interpersonal skills and technical skills to convey the messages to prospective users, coach them through the process of complying with standards and implementing the systems. The role of the EA is to understand far more than IT. The domain of the EA should extend to the entire spectrum of the enterprise

Architects are recognized not by the framework or methodology they use but rather by their school of thought. Instead of his/her certification on well-known frameworks and methodologies, it is more about the individual or practice and their ability to define a client's aspiration, using recognized artifacts and forms, then seeing the execution of the client's vision through to completion. An architect also depends upon the ‘critical organizational capabilities’ to achieve the benefits of the architecture. The architect must assess and understand these organizational capabilities since they will determine if the architecture delivers any value to the organization.

An Enterprise Architect is futurist to continue architecting a learning organization: Almost all productive human work will become increasingly professional as grunt work disappears into machines and computers. How would you structure an EA intervention in an organization if you assume that all people in the organization are in professional role-a professional is that they engaged in expanding and applying knowledge in a domain that is growing its knowledge base? That is, ongoing learning is a necessary component of all work roles. In this regard, Enterprise Architect not architecture, that drives business transformation and talent retooling.


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