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Jeff Schneider over at Momentumsi has stirred up some EA’s with his post Why Enterprise Architecture is a Joke in particular John McGovern with this post which Jeff Schneider replied to with this.

In Jeff's post, point 3 hit home the most ...

"3. Silo Organizations promote Silo Funding. Many EA's never had a chance. They live in organizations that fund everything according to business silo's. Then, the EA is expected to bridge the silos with nickle and dime funding. Their inability to perform Herculean change (multi-channel, master data, cross-organizational BPM, master SOA services) has many of them designated as cops with no gun, just a good flashlight."

I'm working in an organisation that is just beginning it's journey in Enterprise Architect, I'm sure Paul Homan wrote this blog post after working with us. The point I'm making is that Enterprise Architect will go through various stages of maturity before it fulfils it's potential, however I will concede that many political factors will take there toll on the fledgling EA initiative but sometime it is frustrating when people in command make bad decisions. Lions lead by Donkey's does springs to mind.

I know there is frustration being a Enterprise Architect but I honestly believe that we have to start to help ourselves by learning afew lessons in making good PR. We found that by producing small deliverables (a few handy pattern here, a CBM of describing that business area there) regularly and repeatedly and rapping it up in a minor version release constantly re-enforces the message that something is happening. In small manageable chunks trickles will turn into floods and overtime becomes embedded into the culture of your organisation as more people use the stuff the EA team has made in influenced.

There is no point in taking pot-shots at Zachman or TOGAF. If you really have no clue on where to start then taking a course on either really will help you get some idea. Yes, they are generic, well derrrrrrrr, so get over that there is no manual because the whole thing is reasonably new, Even title 'Enterprise Architecture' is just a banner for many different techniques, disciplines and practices, hence why there is no definitive what is ... ? Enterprise Architecture is The 'generic bucket' meaning we will be having this conversation over again.

Which leads me to this point ...

"2. Bad Application Architects got promoted to be bad Enterprise Architects. Although this isn't a universal truth, I've witnessed my fair share of it. Those who can't architect do PowerPoint."

I was development Team Leader before I became an EA and I admit that it wasn't a job I actually liked or was good at, I liked the strategy part but not the rest. However it didn't take me long to realise that the IT industry is evolving so new roles appear all the time to manage the ever increasing complexities the industry is continuing to spawn. The upshot being I could do more of the stuff I enjoy and good at because the industry has spawned enough new activities to get worried about to justify a whole job role to cover it and make sure it is done. It does make me laugh when you hear, Developers go on about who needs Business Analysts or Architects, it's precisely for the reason that there aren't enough hours in the day and analysis jobs weren't happening that brought rise to these new roles in the first place!

Anyway, so if you don't actually know how to grow an Enterprise Architect properly you are going to get afew duds, so what does an Enterprise Architect look like? ... and what makes a good one?

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 10:19 PM Main , Enterprise Architecture | Back to top

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