How to integrate Enterprise Architecture within IT
It could be a debate on where to locate the Architecture Team in your organization. It will mainly depend on the services you will include in your EA Service Catalog, but it is almost always a good idea to attach EA to your IT Department, and directly report to the CIO.
« The debate is opened only whenever Operational Services are not part of your EA Service Catalog, or if they only cover the business dimension. But as in any case the CIO is a key stakeholder for EA, it is safe to always locate the Architecture Team within IT. Sure it’s a good idea ! »
Attaching Enterprise Architecture within IT will unlock IT as a complete business partnering for your organization, from strategy definition to service support.
Your company could be organized in different business lines. Depending on your organization, the IT Department could be centralized, or decentralized with a central kernel and smaller satellites. In this situation, the executive committee could be tempted to strengthen the central Architecture Team, or to implement an Architecture Community.
As Lead Enterprise Architect, if you face the challenge of an Architecture Community, that is decentralized architects attached to their own business line, then you will have to strongly engage the leaders of those business lines. Do not hesitate to harden the rules, so that these architects directly rely on you for everything that is functional : skills management, way of workings, standards, ..
If you face a central Architecture Team to serve multiple service lines, then strongly apply priority management with your CIO and business line leaders, to ensure a good velocity over EA Services delivery.
In any case, do not hesitate to monitor the Key Performance Indicators, report and defend your team capacity, just as a good manager would do.
« I have experienced and switched between the centralized Architecture Team and decentralized Architecture Community within a context of different business lines. I would rather defend to reinforce the central Architecture Team within the IT kernel. »
Within IT, no need to tell that the CIO and the CTO are main stakeholders for Enterprise Architecture.
If you implement Operational Services in your EA Service Catalog, which is highly likely the case, then the Project Management Team becomes a strong interlocutor. Depending on the services activated for a project, your journey with a Project Manager could start from the early ideation, up to the final release and support of the products. Better interact closely with the CSO and the Cyber Security Team as well, to ensure security by design while delivering Solution Design services.
If you implement Operational Services, Business Enabler Services, and implement the whole packages EA for IT, and EA for Organization, then the organization will benefit of a strong maturity. In this situation, the Architecture Team will systematically be involved in every project, and take control over every IT solutions. This is of course the best situation, and you will need to interact with many subject matter experts. Better shine with your ability to gather them and demonstrate your collaboration skills.
Architecture Board is a main component for the Architecture Team operating model within IT. This is an efficient operational board provided you select Operational Services within EA Service Catalog. Led by the Lead Enterprise Architect, the composition of the board includes the CIO, CTO, CSO, and senior architects. Objective is to share outputs from Operational Services, to obtain validation to proceed implementation or validation control of architectures.
« In the next page of this series, we will go through main IT processes that are important for a successful EA integration within IT. We will see how the Architecture Team delivers its value within these processes. »