Enterprise Architects in Organizations

Function, Role and Task

Enterprise 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.

There are many different types of enterprise 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.

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

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

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

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

One of the great challenges for enterprise architects is to satisfy all the highly demanding primary stakeholders with their (conflicting) requirements. That requires the enterprise architect to be 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 Enterprise Architect Work?

How, in short, does the enterprise 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.

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.

Skills Required for Being a Designer

Designers need to have certain skills to be good at design.

Six 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.
  • Problem-solving. Designers create innovative, user-centered solutions that meet the needs of both users and stakeholders.
  • 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 time to read and understand the graphics and be willing to make decisions using them.

A Featured Skill: Thinking by Design

Thinking by Design is a powerful approach to problem-solving that involves using design principles and tools to create innovative enterprise architecture solutions.

At its core, Thinking by Design is about using design thinking principles to solve complex problems. This involves understanding the needs and desires of stakeholders, identifying the core problems that need to be solved, generating a wide range of ideas, prototyping, and testing solutions, and iterating on those solutions until a satisfactory result is achieved.

The Thinking by Design process typically involves the following stages:

  1. Define: This stage involves defining the problem that needs to be solved. This may involve synthesizing information gathered from stakeholders, and identifying the core problem that needs to be addressed.
  2. Analyze: This stage involves analyzing the problem and identifying the root cause(s). This may involve using tools such as mind maps, cause-and-effect diagrams, or other analytical methods to gain a deeper understanding of the problem.
  3. Ideate: This stage involves generating a wide range of ideas for solving the problem. This may involve using brainstorming techniques, sketches, or other ideation methods to generate innovative and diverse integral solutions.
  4. Design: This stage involves selecting the most promising ideas and developing a detailed design for the solution. This may involve creating visualizations, models, or prototypes to illustrate the proposed solution.

  5. Evaluate: This stage involves testing the solution and gathering feedback from stakeholders. This feedback is then used to refine the solution and improve its effectiveness.
  6. Communicate: This stage involves communicating the solution to stakeholders. This may involve creating reports, presentations, or other visualizations to effectively communicate the solution and its benefits.

Thinking by Design is a powerful problem-solving approach that can be used to create innovative and effective solutions. Dragon1 supports this approach by providing enterprise architects with tools and features to visualize, analyze, and communicate their solutions.

Explaining What Is Architecture

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

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

Dragon 1 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 Enterprise Architects Are Any Good?

  1. Enterprise architects have a portfolio with great models, drawings, and sketches he or she uses to get architecture design assignments/contracts from owners/clients (C-level). This portfolio shows the architect was successful in the past with architecture and projects.
  2. Enterprise architects proactively do the acquisition for architecture design assignments and contracts.
  3. Enterprise architects create and review strategy maps to give feedback on the strategy to the C-level. This shows he or she understands and knows the strategy of the enterprise he or she is changing with his designs.
  4. Enterprise architects design and review business models, so C-level persons can discuss the changes better with others. This shows that the architect understands and knows the business model he or she is changing with his designs.
  5. Enterprise architects create and review business cases for all the changes to business models that are caused by the strategy.
  6. Enterprise architects moderate and review 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. Enterprise architects create and review landscapes and blueprints of processes, applications, and infrastructure. So the impact of the new solutions can be easily controlled.
  8. Enterprise architects design and review frameworks, architectures and solutions, concepts, principles, patterns, and building blocks.
  9. Enterprise architects create and review evolutionary and modular project plans.
  10. Enterprise architects create and review roadmaps.
  11. Enterprise architects supervise the detailed design and realization of enterprise-wide integral solutions.
  12. Enterprise architects proactively escalate to the owner/clients when he or she come across major risks or threads for the projects or enterprise.

Elevator Pitch of the Architect

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

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Capability Mapping Software

Generate a Change Impact Analysis - Projects Apps Capabilities

Use any repository or Excel Sheet
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: Data Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Application Portfolio Diagram

Retail, Agriculture, Energy, Oil & Gas
DEMO: Strategy Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Strategy Map for CLOUD ADOPTION

Automotive, Financial Services, Health Care
DEMO: Process Application Map

DEMO: Generate Landscape for RPA AUTOMATION

Government, Logistics, Banking