EA in a Box – Mission Start

Mission Starts

Starting the Enterprise Architecture journey

Once the mission starts, you need to be very efficient. You need to seize your environment, meet people, meet leaders, meet your sponsor, meet main stakeholders, and meet the maximum number of person you will work with. Meet your peers, check out with the Architecture Team already in place, or the Architecture Community. Enter in communication with people, talk, and chat. No need to tell that a customer-centric approach is more than mandatory.

You need to connect, you need to communicate, a lot. You need to know people, and people need to know you ! You need to do this with your brightest smile, passion and motivation !

You need to understand your company, its business, your organization, values, challenges that are faced, vision, and strategy. Understand the business, customers, main vendors, suppliers, main hot topics, and way of workings.

You need to take opportunity of the early days to assess the transformation and value you could bring for your mission to be successful. You can use standard techniques, interviews, SWOT analysis, but don’t be too formal. Just be a servant leader as great as you can, and be of help, wherever you can.

Adapt Yourself

You can find a lot of Critical Success Factors in the literature, like TOGAF, and it’s good to know them. But I would like to say that they are mainly depending on you, and you only ! Your skills, and your abilities !

Are you fully engaged in your mission ? Are you doing this with passion ? How bad do you want your mission to be successful ? You need to engage the leaders, it’s all about your approach, communication, presentation and adaptation skills !

Manfred Cochefert
PhD Enterprise Architect

« Don’t blame others if you are not able to convince someone. Like Einstein would say, you won’t get different results by doing the same experience. If you don’t succeed, you need to try again, with a different approach. Be assertive, be yourself, and try hard, until you succeed. »

People do not care about frameworks ! They do not care about your CV, formal things, processes, or procedures. They care about the outcomes, and the value you can bring to them. So keep focusing. They care about growing their business, making money, they care of being happy at work, sharing values, they care about market opportunities, and their own clients. Like everyone, they want to have fun, and be successful. You will have to adapt !

You might start explaining your role, sharing some thoughts about what you can bring, and the value you can deliver. It’s a good thing, and you need to empower. It’s good to identify how much you can help others growing as well, for them to better fulfill their own mission !

You might start having some thoughts, ideas and solutions, and you will assess the change readiness. You might understand that it will take a huge amount of work, efforts, means and time for you to bring your maximum value. Don’t be afraid, you are the leader ! You need to adapt, it is up to you to empower others, and going too fast is not going to get people anywhere.

Your Vision

Soon you become aware of expectations from the business, strategies, ways of working within the organization, processes, procedures, IT organization, governance, existing frameworks, constraints.

Depending on the context, you will be able to seize your mission. Enterprise Architecture is a vast discipline, ways to deliver value are numerous. You need to scope your intervention, in breadth and depth. It is highly important that you don’t lose yourself. You need to find and focus on areas to fit business and IT needs and that maximize Enterprise Architecture value in your context.

Building your vision is the output of a strong collaboration. You can use any techniques of your choice. You will compute a vision board in collaboration and with the will to engage the leaders. The vision board states your mission, and will give you the authority to conduct all your initiatives.

Quick wins first. Everything that you can bring with 20% efforts for 80% of the results. You need to prioritize your topics based on business priorities, IT priorities, innovation, and business-enablers. Short terms, medium terms, long terms. Start defining a roadmap, and plan. Assess your needs in means. Share your vision of your EA Operating Model. Identify the need of some landscape updates.

Time to get your statement of work for the next months. Ensure you monitor progress, and continuously check-in.

Manfred Cochefert
PhD Enterprise Architect

« In the next page, you will know about EA Service Catalog, and why it is always the win-win implementation for Enterprise Architecture. »