Enterprise architecture training has evolved from the sports coaching model. Coaches help IT architects remove or reduce internal obstacles to their performance and this can unleash the natural abilities that are inherent without too much technical input from the coach. One of the easiest to understand the most often used coaching models is the GROW model. The GROW coaching model consists of four parts and they are Goals, Reality, Options, and Wrap up. Basically there are a specific group of questions that need to be answered by the person being coached and of course each stage has to be addressed in order, otherwise the model becomes confused (and so will the coach and the IT architect). So here are some questions which will get you started. What is your goal? What do you want or accomplish? In relation to IT architecture coaching this could include development of soft skills, a defined career path, a better focus, clearer milestones. What are you trying to do, how do you know this particular goal is worth achieving? How will you and your work coach know when you have achieved it? We now come to the Reality of the situation and an examination of what is really going on, as you see it.
Do you know if this perceived reality is accurate, and is it based on what’s happening now? Where do you find yourself at this time and have you tried any solutions? Did they work? Which ones did and which ones and didn’t? You then have to look at your Options. You have to find out what alternatives you have now and maybe what the other possibilities are in front of you. Do you have choices at this time? What has worked in similar situations before? Questioning available options is really good because it stretches your imagination. If constraints were taken away and you could really do what you want to do, what would you do? What else needs to be considered and who else apart from your enterprise architect mentor can help? In the Wrap-up we tackle the question – what are you willing to do? What can you do right now?
What’s going to get in the way and what will it cost you if you don’t take action now? Who needs to know and what support will you need in from home as well as the workplace? Are you likely to pursue the target that you’re aiming at and to what degree? And the most important question is what will it take to get you moving towards your goal? As you can see the GROW model is more of an asking situation than a telling situation. The idea is your coach asks you these questions and you provide the answers to yourself. They help you to think creatively and can elicit radical ideas particularly in the options and wrap-up stages. Your coach can also check your understanding of the questions and the answers and he can give you specific examples and illustrations. This is just a small sample of what can happen when you engage in enterprise architecture training and there are lots of other tools which coaches use to help you focus on and grow your career as an IT architect.