Enterprise Architecture Roles or “What do you do??”

How many times do you get asked: “What is it that you do?” I used to respond “I am an Enterprise Architect”. Their response, “What??, huh?, That is a mouthful …, I though you worked in IT??, etc”

Face it “Enterprise Architect” could mean anything from being Mr Scott (technically, he is the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer) to Arthur Erickson (Vancouver, BC native and world renowned architect). 99% of my friends and family have no idea about the work we do.

Instead of trying to define what “Enterprise Architect” meant, I found it much easier to explain the roles I play and the responsibilities I have. First I tested it on my wife, who has the best common sense of anyone I know. She got it! Next, I tried it with my colleagues and again it registered. These three roles are by no means the only things I do as an Enterprise Architect. Constantly reading, model creation, leadership, presenting (internally and externally) all are important too.

Here are my basic definitions: (comments and feedback please):

Guidance: A discussion regarding how the new idea may change the architecture and/or how the existing architecture can support the idea.

Consult: Involvement in architecture design and assist with architectural alignment – specifically an initial EA review and test to identify existing architecture components.

Approval: Approval of technology and its accurate representation in the architecture – including documentation and updating of all EA artifacts – approval process built into Project Management and Change Management.

As with any definitions we come up with, if we do not communicate them, they are meaningless. Communication is the key. I spend significant hours daily guiding, consulting and approving our technology investments and surprisingly less time creating models and diagrams. Do you find this too? I would really like to get a sense of the percentage of your work day you spend on various activities.

 

 

Guidance: 30% Consult: 20% Approval: 10% <— 60% of my work

 

Communication and Leadership: 40%

Administration: gets done at night 😉