The First 100 Days as an Enterprise Architect

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Likes: 0 | Comments: 0

Mark Paauwe

Sales Director

Dragon1 Inc

The First 100 Days as an Enterprise Architect

Via email, I receive infographics from many respected analyst firms, like Gartner, that claim to provide a roadmap of how to become successful as an Enterprise Architect, in the first 100 days, at a new job.

In my humble opinion, these infographics often do not contain the distinctive architectural content for these first 100 days. They are more like an ordinary recipe for yet another Enterprise Architect. These Roadmaps to Success contain vague statements that do not provide constraints or "urge" the architect in its behavior or attitude.

My 2 cents in that discussion on how to ensure as an Enterprise Architect adding tangible value to the business, is based on the open Dragon1 method for EA and my own working experience of over 25 years as EA.

13 Golden Rules

Below are 13 golden rules (not principles). If you follow these, you just cannot fail and you will impress during the first 100 days.

To be a successful Enterprise Architect:

  1. You must be able to understand, visualize, and communicate the business strategy map of the organization within the first month;
  2. You must be able to understand, visualize, and communicate the business model of the organization within the first month;
  3. You must be seen and accepted as a visionary and leader for designing and visualizing the conceptual blueprint of the organization;
  4. You must be able to collect requirements from all kinds of stakeholders and be able to prioritize them;
  5. You must be able to co-design, visualize, and communicate views of the conceptual blueprint (=architecture) of the organization;
  6. For this, you must have a lot of experience of concepts and principles, and of technology and innovation from the industries;
  7. You must have enough experience to be able to support decision-making by stakeholders and to guide projects with the views of the conceptual blueprint;
  8. You must make use of a repository to increase the data quality of the design and the views you co-create;
  9. You must have a plan and an owner/client;
  10. You must report and process the feedback;
  11. You must build up in the repository an Architecture Dossier of the approved and maintained documents;
  12. You must have an overview of stakeholders and projects and have an overview of which architecture dossier products they use;
  13. You must be able to do EA without naming EA or putting EA in front.

If you come across an infographic that does not mention a blueprint, repository, concept, or principle, it can never be a roadmap to success for any architect. Why? Because you need to put an effort into working with a repository. It is not easy to create a conceptual blueprint with a view that makes sense, but you should not walk away from that. You should face the task and do it!

The 7 Benefits of EA

The Dragon1 open EA method has recognized and defined 7 Enterprise Architecture Benefits. These are:

  1. Creating Insights and Overviews of Relations and Dependencies
  2. Impact of Change Analysis (What-if Scenarios)
  3. Standardization and Risk Mitigation
  4. IT Cost and Complexity Reduction
  5. Process and Capability Improvement
  6. Innovation Enablement
  7. Strategy and Transformation Realization

If you as an architect know about new and innovative technologies from the industries and you know about the strategy and business model of your organization, you can design a conceptual blueprint or total concept (=architecture) that guides innovation projects and supports decision-making. Therefore using the Dragon1 method for working with Enterprise Architecture will always add value to you and the business.

As a stakeholder or manager you can require from the architects that they should be able to relate every document or visualization they have created, to the strategy map (and its objectives) and business model of a company. The strategy map and business model of the company are two important architectural products every architect should have as a starting point for all the other work that the architect is going to create.

Read more about the 7 benefits of EA here

Building Blocks for Maturity Level 1

The visualization below shows the core building blocks, defined in the open Dragon1 method, that are required to reach maturity level 1.

Architecture Dossier Standard

The visualization below shows the most important documents, defined in the Dragon1 EA method, to get started working with Enterprise Architecture effectively.

Read more about the Enterprise Architecture Dossier Standard