Part One: The way of an Enterprise Architect

You have decided and have the determination to accept the challenge to pursue an Enterprise architecture either as a consultant or as an employee, it does not matter. What matters is what you and the target organisation stand to gain for doing it? I suggest you settle down for a moment and reflect on this, then write down some answers before you continue to read.

The benefits you can hope to achieve depends on who you are, the target organisation, the collective capabilities you posses, the time and resources you are all willing to spend. Except from that it is your will to never surrender that decides whether this Enterprise architecture will be brought to fruition or left to rot in the pit of good intentions.

Aim for success

The first five steps to success are:

  1. Have a clear and concise goal
  2. Know what knowledge and which skills are needed to reach the goal
  3. Train hard individually and as a team
  4. Make it a common effort
  5. Deliver on promises made

Set your ambitions high

The ultimate ambition to strive for is the answer you wrote to the question above. “What is it you stand to gain from an Enterprise Architecture?”. A part from that you can set almost any goal as long as they are achievable within reasonable time. You may choose to divide your initial goals on other dimensions like time, costs, benefits and efforts. Anyway you choose to do it is a small step towards actually achieving the goal itself.

Make sure the goals are:

  1. S.M.A.R.T.E.R
  2. Documented and published
  3. Understood and agreed upon

Perform an effective execution

There is always many obstacles to surmount on the way to a goal worth achieving. It is not without a doubt that an effort of such a grandeur as an Enterprise architecture requires one to focus dearly on the end goal.

Since time and resources most likely will be scarce you will have to be verry effective in your execution. Planning the execution is of utmost importance and focusing each single work item on an outcome that leads you to the target is essential. Some would say that you should go Lean and Agile. I say stay focused and persist whatever may come your way. If that spells out as Lean and Agile to you then so be it.

  1. Plan to succeed, revisit the plan to respond to change (have a look at the OODA loop)
  2. Consistently stay focused, do not deviate lightly from the plan, the goal or the task at hand
  3. Make sure each work item takes you one step closer to the goal by focusing on creating excellent architecture artifacts
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