In early December 2010, I spent 2 days at the Microsoft Canadian College Update. I sent Nick Malik (@nickmalik) a message and we met for lunch. I really enjoy catching up with other Enterprise Architects and Nick is top of my list. We talked about a broad range of topics like how EA can help with downsizing, EA models and data, Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Practice and Twitter.
The topic of forming an EA team came up. “How would you staff up an EA team?” Nick challenged me by asking “Would your first hire be an Enterprise Architect?” At first I thought, yes of course an EA office needs EA’s in it. Well not so fast … if the EA Office was being put together for the first time in an organization, what does it really need to do?
Show value early and often to the organization. In order to do this, an Enterprise Architecture team needs to gather data and a way to link into projects.
Nick strongly suggested that instead of hiring another EA, I should think about hiring a project manager role and an accounting/data analyst role. (This assumes that you as the Chief Architect will do the EA work yourself.) So, if you have the opportunity to build an EA Office think long and hard about what you need to do and the roles you need to accomplish your goals. As I am writing this, I really think I need to revisit my work on Enterprise Architecture Capability Maturity Models.
So what roles would you pick? Please let me know.