Today’s business architects play a variety of roles. Some are already delivering on the vision of business architecture. Others are on their way, rapidly working their way up the value contribution ladder. Still others have a smaller vision for business architecture and are happy working at a lower level of value contribution. One of the attributes of highly successful business architects is they view themselves as agents of change. When I assess business architecture practices or initiatives, I want to see how effective they are at driving change. I am much less interested in how well designed their models are than I am how much they are contributing to organizational success through influencing change. Looking across many organizations, I see business architects that:
Support change – These architects are connected to their organization’s change agents in enterprise architecture, project management offices, strategy development, and general management. They provide information and modeling skills on request and develop a repository of business architecture artifacts. Often, these architects work as a business architecture center of excellence where they also provide tools and techniques for distributed architects.
Describe change – Architects working here typically focus on efficiency efforts. They perform project, application, process, and technology portfolio analyses to uncover redundancies and inefficiencies. They describe changes that can produce financial savings or faster execution. A smaller group in this category describes needed strategic changes.
Encourage change – Architects in the encourage change category have often been through the describe change process and use that information to promote specific changes. They also promote the business architecture concept in general often seeing themselves as business architecture evangelists.
Facilitate change – This is where the largest group of full time business architects spend their time. Architects here are more actively engaged in change design than the support change group and are more likely to be working with executives and senior managers. They are true collaborators in the change design and implementation process.
Manage change – Architects in this category go beyond facilitating change to being accountable for results. They are a key player in major change initiatives providing metrics, management communication, and change team leadership.
Drive change – Change drivers use business architecture to make a case for large-scale change. They are often part of a transformation office or are well connected to business strategy functions. Many work within a line of business or business unit providing insight and perspective, as well as action plans, to the senior leadership team.