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7 Common Mistakes Enterprise Architects Make

        posted by , February 11, 2011

1. Focusing on one domain

The scope of Enterprise Architecture(EA) includes business, application, data and technical architecture. Many architects focus on one domain more than the others. Some Architects become business-oriented and lack insight into technical details. Others become embroiled in low level technical architecture and lack business awareness.

2. Long and complex

Have you ever see a architecture diagram that looks like the schematic for a nuclear submarine ― it is not pretty. The enterprise architecture needs to be widely understood and adopted ― this is impossible if it is overly complex. EA should be short and simple.

3. Working in a bubble

Enterprise architecture is all about breaking down technology silos in favour of common solutions. However, all too often enterprise architects work in a silo themselves. The primary role of the EA Architect is to lead the EA process. The business needs to play an active role in defining the architecture.

4. Governance what?

Governance is probably the most challenging aspect of Enterprise Architecture. It is also the area that is most often neglected. It is critical for EA to be involved in major projects and initiatives. Compliance assessments should be required activities for all projects.

5. The never ending process

Enterprise architecture is a long term planning activity ― but it needs to be relevant in the here and now. An enterprise architect should never lose touch with day-to-day business pressures and challenges.

6. Dogma and silver bullets

Some enterprise architects have preferred solutions they tend to apply to every situation. This often takes the shape of a trendy concept such as SOA.

7. Jargon

Most enterprise architects are familiar with standardized vocabularies for IT such as that provided by ITIL. These standardized terms are great ― if you are talking to other architects. An enterprise architect needs to be a great communicator and part of this is using the words that people understand. If the organization refers to Service Level Management as "Quality Service Management" then that is the terminology the EA team should adopt.


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