Friday, May 1, 2020

Re-Energize Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect analyzes the business to make decisions or create business cases, Thus, the key skills of the business architects are to analyze the business and design changes to make it operate better.

Enterprise Architecture plays a significant role in shaping modern businesses and driving progressive changes. Enterprise Architect is a specialized generalist who not only knows what questions to ask but how to establish a vision from the business stories in a way that builds in the structural flexibility for the system to not collapse and with the agility to adapt to the changes.

The Enterprise Architect makes influence via the power of knowledge and blueprint of organization. The many faces of Enterprise Architect include:

Big-picture Thinker: An architect’s mind is holistic, combining many different thought processes such as forward-thinking, integrated thinking, systems thinking, creativity, etc, with the visual abilities to “see” an idea and express it via interactive way, gain an understanding of the past and the perception of the future so far as knowledge permits. An Enterprise Architect is sophisticated and seeks "holism”; applying multiple perspectives, multiple disciplines, and having abilities to view the complete business system as an ecosystem with all its dependencies and interconnections.

The architects do the type of thinking practice that appreciates how underlying complexity generates the features and phenomena of interest to practitioners (those whose endeavors directly bring about change in the real world) so that they can work with them accordingly. It is the practice that has the necessary abilities to engage with the extant flow of change in the world, helps to shape it and influence its 'trajectory' at the moment.

Effective Communicator: Great EA is a great communicator; she/he has to be able to not only articulate the vision but also communicate it in various forms and forums, including investor relations, business partners, organizational leaders or professionals, etc, and leverage the architecture as a practical communication tool to make effective cross-functional communication.

The strategic communication initiated by EA is not the top-down one-way street, it should embrace creativity, context, cascade, to enforce trust and accountability, streamline knowledge flow, and reach digital synchronization. Good communicators identify existing communication bottlenecks and which communication gaps should be closed. Effective communicators are working to spread that throughout the organization in a diverse set of activities for communicating shared goals, with strong logic, clarity, and understanding.

Artistic Futurist: Enterprise Architects reimagine the future of the business. The change equation needs a vision for the future. Doing architecture is to facilitate change. The realistic state takes into consideration today's current reality and produces some achievable targets. Some say that futurologists are never right, it's a good warning to scrutinize your prediction and enhance your preparation.

As an EA, it is important to reimagine the future of the digital business boldly, but make an objective assessment of the digital readiness carefully. It’s about striking the right balance between knowing where you've been, where you are, and where you want to go. Being a futuristic EA is both art and science.

Progressive Learner & Good Listener: Only a learning mind has a better cognitive ability to adjust to the change, as adaptation is critical for surviving and thriving in today’s dynamic world. This is particularly important for EAs to understand that the learning curve needs to be the prerequisite to ensure change success. And at the core of all of this learning needs to be a deep understanding of systemic thinking

Communication, learning, listening, planning, and training are indispensable when you are on the ride of digital trajectory to develop an effective architecture for orchestrating changes. Encourage people to speak, actively listen to what they say, engage in candid "give-and-take" communication. If you do not listen, you will never get the two sides of the story. Those that encourage empathetic listening have the opportunity to give their colleagues a greater sense of worth and in return receive a greater commitment.

Governance Advocate: Governance can begin with an EA framework and policies to be put in place, depending on the nature, scale, and complexity of the organization. Often the transitional periods are painful for the adoption of changes and old governance models may be counterproductive. It makes sense to have governance processes that are more lightweight and continuous, and that focus more on results rather than detailed plans.

EA as a governance advocate does the governance mapping that helps to identify interdependencies and streamline governance processes. Think big (holistically) and small (focus), think lightweight (agility), think incremental, and most of all, think about how can GRC be delegated and even automated when possible.

Customer Champion: The goal to architect a customer-centric organization is to bring value to customers in ways that are beneficial for them while also creating added value for the company itself. The customer champion EA builds and rewards an organizational culture focused on putting the customer at the center of every employees' short and long term business purpose.

From an architectural perspective, it's how all the business processes fit together, how the accountability, ownership, and handoffs between teams and processes are designed. It's the entire value stream that influences the customer experience. It’s necessary to have a formal process in place that requires a clearly defined business case with cost/benefit analysis before any investment is made.

Anthropologist: Anthropology provides a holistic perspective of digging into the dynamic human interrelationship. It helps people understand and enliven the varied social contexts and cultural scenarios in a better way. Thinking through anthropological dimension questions one’s assumptions, which tend to oversimplify about other cultures and individuals, past and present.

EA with an anthropological perspective is able to experiment with different ways of doing the same things and are more tolerant of cultures and customs other than one’s own. An anthropological viewpoint opens one’s eyes to a spectrum of things with so many different shades and colors of the same world; expanding one’s vision of a society, cultural diversity, and human potential, to achieve the art of possible.

Enterprise Architect analyzes the business to make decisions or create business cases, Thus, the key skills of the business architects are to analyze the business and design changes to make it operate better. The deep problem that reveals at the societal level is to understand what are the evolutionary pathways implied by those mind switches and how we can leverage different thought processes to stimulate novel ideas and solve complex problems creatively. Enterprise Architecture is the discipline not just for Enterprise Architects, it's the thinking process every business leader should master, and it's the discipline every mature organization needs to practice.


Post a Comment