The Architect in the Organization

Function, Role and Task

Architects, in short, are the designers of complex structures, like systems, that continuously change. They are also the supervisors of the realization of these systems. Preferably they are even the program manager or project manager of this transformation program.

Below, Dragon1 provides the worldwide enterprise architecture community with a paper detailing the function, task and role of the architect in the organization.

Download PDF (English) dragon1-the-architect-in-the-organization.pdf

Download PDF (Dutch) dragon1-de-architect-in-de-organisatie.pdf

There are many different types of architects in organizations, but they all have in common that they (should) design systems: Enterprise Architects design enterprise systems, IT Architects design IT systems, Solution Architects design architectural integral solutions, and so on.

One of the great challenges for architects is to satisfy all the highly demanding primary stakeholders with their (conflicting) requirements. That requires architects they are able to do conceptual design.

The conceptual level of the complex system they design is the architecture (i.e. total concept) of the system.

How Does the Architect Work?

How, in short, does the architect work, together with other roles?

The Dragon1 open EA Method provides an answer to this question: the architect acts as a creative designer of total concepts and enterprise-wide solutions and supervises the realization of the designed solutions.

The diagram below provides core steps and roles that play an important part in the work of an architect.

Important to notice is that an architect, other than designers, makes use of concepts and principles to create a design in architecture at four levels of abstraction: conceptual, preliminary, definite and detailed architecture design.

Elevator Pitch of the Architect

Here is an Elevator Pitch for the architect in the organization.

Skills Required for Being a Designer

Designers need to have certain skills to be any good in design.

Five skills often recognized are:

  • Communication. Designers are constantly interacting with stakeholders for requirements and approval of design fragments.
  • Creativity. Designers solve problems and come up with solutions no one has done before, so they sometimes have no example.
  • Technology. Designers need to be able to use new technology to solve problems that could not have been solved before.
  • Time Management. Designers always work on different projects at once and have to be able to juggle time.
  • Layout, Typography and Graphics. A layout is the use of type, graphics and space to create a story, voice and engagement. Designers communicate their design with visualizations, diagrams, views and models. Stakeholders must be able in a short period of time to read and understand the graphics and be willing to make decisions using them.

Explaining What Is Architecture

Enterprise Architecture to most people is an unknown field of work. This causes architects to have also to spend a lot of time introducing architecture as a field of work or even defending why it is necessary to do.

This is of course not a key activity for architects, but unfortunately, they must address it.

Dragon1 promotes the usage of portfolios for this. If you are an architect with experience and have a portfolio, this is the best way to explain to others the role and added value of architecture.

How To Tell If Your Architects Are Any Good?

  1. The architect has a portfolio with great models, drawings and sketches he or she uses to get architecture design assignments/contracts from owner/clients (C-level). This portfolio shows the architect was successful in the past with architecture and projects.
  2. The architect proactively does the acquisition for architecture design assignments and contracts.
  3. The architect creates and reviews strategy maps to give feedback on the strategy to C-level. This shows he or she understands and knows the strategy of the enterprise he or she is changing with his designs.
  4. The architect designs and reviews business models, so C-level persons can discuss the changes of it better with others. This shows that the architect understands and knows the business model he or she is changing with his designs.
  5. The architect creates and reviews business cases for all the changes to business models that are caused by the strategy.
  6. The architect moderates and reviews programs of requirements (consulting stakeholders) for the enterprise-wide integral solutions (in the business cases) that need to be designed and realized with architecture.
  7. The architect creates and reviews landscapes and blueprints of processes, applications and infrastructure. So the impact of the new solutions can be easily controlled.
  8. The architect designs and reviews frameworks, architectures and solutions, concepts, principles, patterns and building blocks.
  9. The architect creates and reviews evolutionary and modular project plans.
  10. The architect creates and reviews roadmaps.
  11. The architect supervises the detailed design and realization of enterprise-wide integral solutions.
  12. The architect proactively escalates to the owner/clients when he or she comes across major risks or threads for the projects or enterprise.

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Concept Mapping Software

How to use Dragon1 EA Tool

Learn to generate architecture diagrams using repositories
DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Example

DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Diagram - Measure Rules Compliance

Manufacturing, Financial Solutions
DEMO: Enterprise Architecture Blueprint Template

DEMO: Generate an Enterprise Architecture Blueprint to discover and solve RISK

Banking, Logistics, Healthcare
DEMO: Strategy Map Template

DEMO: Generate Strategy Map for CLOUD ADOPTION

Government, Logistics, Banking
DEMO: Process Application Map

DEMO: Generate Process Application Landscape for RPA

Retail, Agriculture, Oil & Gas
DEMO: Data Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Application Landscape for SECURITY

Automotive, Financial Services, Health Care