Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Role of Enterprise Architect Again

It was coincidental with my last post that I was talking on the phone later this same week with Paul Williams of GCS Recruitment, who specialises in architecture appointments in the UK, he told me he had had written in his blog recently how he was frustrated by clients advertising for enterprise architects and then promptly listing a whole list of technical skill requirements.

The role clearly was not what it said on the tin.

I do hope I.T. and HR people are not high-jacking the job title and using it to sound good and dress up senior technical roles else this trend is going to create even more mis-understanding and be quite unhelpful.Particularly in alienating the business people who then will see the title enterprise architect and think it is something quite different to what it should be.

The other issue I have seen is that CIO's and their senior managers go out to recruit enterprise architects and say all the right things about wanting business orientated candidates and call strong business architect type people in for interviews; but then end up selling out, recruiting technical people instead later on in the interviewing process.

This creates much frustration to the business types who were reluctant to get involved in the first place because they new this would happen; but had been reassured by the agent that: " Oh no they really want strong business design people- this isn't a technical role you such a good fit!"

I have always thought that there is a tendency for people to "recruit in their own image".

Thursday, 18 February 2010

When is an Enterprise Architect not an Enterprise Architect?

Answer: When in reality they are an Enterprise I.T Architect!

An Enterprise architect by definition should mean an architect that architects the business as a whole. However, most individuals who hold this title sit in I.T. and look outward to the business for guidance. In variably these folks architect the I.T. across the whole business i.e. an enterprise view. An enterprise architect seems to represent the most senior architecture role in I.T.

This causes confusion amongst all architecture roles including business architects and results in much discussion wherever business design and architecture is discussed.

Business architecture should be a subset of EA but invariably it isn't EA often plays with business architecture but doesn't incorporate it properly else we would see 80% business and 20% I.T. in EA; but in reality the reverse is true.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Thinking About Value in an Outsourced Scenario

On the face of it determining value seems quite simple - ask the customers what they see as value and work with that.

However, whilst working last week with an outsourcing organisation the first comment is who is the customer then? is it our client, the clients client, or the end user; this is made even more complicated when the "consumer" i.e. end user is not a true consumer as they don't actually buy the goods or services they are just subjected to them.

The chain delivers value to an authority rather than "actors" that the process is performed upon.

The answer is that we need to examine the value chain as a whole and see how various stakeholders get value and that value may not just be monetary but other aspects such as time delayed or degrees of intrusion.

In understanding the chain of value we can get all parties to agree on the value add through the chain, else as in so many outsourced arrangements the SLA's between the many partners in the chain create behaviours that destroy value from the chain as a whole.

Remember - end to end is the key not just analysis of a component part. So life in outsourcing and shared services isn't as simple as it first seems. If done badly outsourcing destroys overall value as fast as wet rot in a roof!

Sophisticated lean suggests examining the flow of value beyond ones own enterpise boundaries which is quite a step change in thinking for many organisations.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Modern Communication has side effects

How often do you walk on to a large floor in corporate premises to see many people working in complete silence. All these individuals are staring at their screens some are writing documents or coding programmes or processing data. Many are responding, reading and creating e-mails; probably to those on the same floor perhaps?

The modern office is becoming a lonely place! Is this efficient communication or social ineptitude. A conversation results in interaction, creative and productive in nature.

Taking 20 minutes to carefully construct a mail by each individual in the chain of communication, to avoid offence, when a few minute conversation will do the same is much more effective and indeed healthy.

Come on lets Talk!its much more productive.

An office where there is lots going on is a creative place, a floor full of screen ghouls is depressing and dull.

Whats your office like?