You can achieve excellence by understanding the differences between good architecture and great architecture. An organization needs to create the right landscape to give an architect the room to enable and make actionable what will become the perfect blend of change, technology decisions, and competitive distinction. As you go through this book, you will find you have the capacity to achieve the traits and skills presented. You’ll recognize how to apply the skills you already possess and gain confidence in your existing abilities. Many new architects lack this confidence.
Acknowledge your existing talent as your journey in the role of EA begins. Use each step to identify your personal strengths—know yourself and assess your skills honestly. Identify your weaknesses in the same manner. Accept where you need additional knowledge and reflect how an EA would apply the skills you may possess from an IT-architecture perspective. A great example is in the area of analysis. Systems analysis and architecture analysis are different. Know the difference and plot your growth path.
Deep technical skills are not as important for the EA as soft skills. Human factors have become increasingly important today, especially in the area of business strategy. Emotional intelligence or neural linguistics has become a popular topic evident in many areas of business.
In addition, it is more important that EAs possess a wide range of technical knowledge than specific expertise. It is crucial that they at least possess general technical knowledge on most subjects, as they are going to work toward putting together large solutions. They need to appreciate the moving parts to understand the risk and the need for deeper technical viewpoints from other experts.
Great EAs will typically be great leaders, communicators, and politicians. They grow past the need to solve intense technical problems and are more interested in bigger-picture business challenges. When EAs select their favorite technologies out of habit or technical religious preferences, it actually hampers their efforts. The technology-neutral EA who selects the right technology or solution for both the context and requirements of the business problem becomes a much more valuable asset.
Overall, EAs should be visionary and passionate about the reasons enterprise architecture is critical to the business. They realize why we shouldn’t argue the benefits and the value of architecture. After truly understanding the benefits, it is difficult for them to operate in any other way. They are capable of looking past their personal preferences and just want what’s best for the business—plain and simple.
If you have a desire to become excellent, you might check out our group coaching page and take this program – it’s a great start for enterprise architects and you’ll be glad you did.