Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Enterprise Architecture Elevator Pitch

"The Enterprise Architects business value is in building success through good design. This will vary from place-to-place (project-to-project), because the IT history, context, and organizations maturity will change. In the end, it is about improving an organizations return on IT investments through broad and intelligent information system design and proven architectural practices."

Ask the recipient(s) of the pitch to go for coffee...

BING - door slides open, pitch ends...

So what do I mean by those above three sentences?
  1. Business value, building success, good design? - properly designed IT architecture provides a set of technologies (process, features and infrastructure) that eases (and if I may be so bold, guarantees) project success. Project success (particularly when the project is aligned with strategy) adds business value. And the value comes through; being on schedule, staying to budget, shipping reliable systems, enabling business agility and innovation, being repeatable, streamlining process, providing information for decision making.
  2. Vary from place-to-place, history, context and maturity will change? WTF? - a good enterprise architect sees beyond the technology and recognizes that every business has a culture, and this culture is influenced, and perpetuated, by the organizations history, the context of the current architectural decision making, and the technical maturity of the organization (in particular, the senior personnel).
  3. In the end, return on investment, broad and intelligent design, proven practices? - the enterprise architect needs to prove influence over the end product of working software and systems. If they can't show how they add value in measurable ways, and have this as traceable, people will struggle with seeing the enterprise architects value toward the IT investments. The enterprise architects work needs to been seen as working across the organization, if there are groups left out, the technical debt created by an outlier and having to bring alignment will counter the savings attained through the good architecture. The practices need to be repeatable by other architects, this shows maturity, and maturity reduces chaos.