Many years ago, as a newly minted lead architect, I had a memorable initial 1×1 with our organization’s CIO. After reviewing my hand drawn (pencil on paper) application and information landscape, and hearing the CIO’s vision for common front-ends across retail, catalog and (burgeoning) web channel, we discussed the state of the union, and the inevitable gap from here to there.
After I listed ten or so gap items, I looked to the CIO for verification and prioritization. Instead, the CIO said, “I don’t care what you do, just do something.”
I admit. I was taken aback by the CIO’s response. Afterwards, I sat in my cube wondering why the organization created this new (enterprise architecture predecessor) position, if the big boss didn’t care what I worked on.
Then though, thankfully, I interpreted the CIO’s message differently, correctly. The CIO didn’t care which of the litany of items I picked, because tackling any item would move us closer to the ultimate, customer-centric vision.
This is the perspective I draw from as I advise architects and enterprise architecture groups who struggle in starting, or revitalizing an architecture practice. To get traction, don’t get tangled up in a framework or methodology, go solve a problem.
The problem doesn’t even need to reside in the (traditional) enterprise architecture domain. Nor does the solution have to be perfect, or in classic form. Just move your organization closer to there, from here. Repeat as required.
While this problem-solving, action-oriented approach can slow-down the generation of traditional artifacts and processes, it does accelerate value generation, and really, isn’t that the point.
Need to grow your architecture practice and credibility? Go solve a problem.