Recently I was asked by Oracle’s architecture community manager about the next generation of EAs. The topic was centered around where future architects should focus their energy. Since the original article can only share a small snipet of my thoughts I’ve added the remainder below.
The next generation of EA would do well to spend as much, if not more time, consuming business literature and emphasizing the business planning aspect of EA. As I convey this idea to clients in IT departments, I emphasize the result of a rigorous EA development cycle – a roadmap to evolve the business. Its not a functioning piece of technology. Its a roadmap. Level 0 project plan by any other name. When performed correctly, the roadmap is executable from the sense of funding and creating a stream of projects. Current EAs who are leveraging EA and not only EAA, EIA, or ETA understand the need to emphasize and orient around the business elements of the enterprise. Nearly half of TOGAF’s “elements” that are inventoried and modeled are out of the business domain.
I think EAs will start harnessing other skill sets and weaving thier respective tools into an architecture development process (ADP). Service design, design thinking, and Lean Six Sigma are all tools for evolving an enterprise’s capabilities. One question that arises is whether or not EA is the right name. Are we “enterprise transformation-ologists” (or some other name) that leverage the tools of enterprise architecture and/or the aforementioned list when tackling a planning cycle or specific problem?
Regardless of the answer, the basics of problem solving and business fundamentals will always be relevant so all species of “architect” will benefit from immersion into those domains.