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Administrators Make Terrible Architects

        posted by , October 17, 2011

If you have an EA governance program — you probably have some administrators involved. That's great — after all, EA governance is an administrative process. However, it's important that administrators never, never be allowed to become Chief Architect.

The World's Worst Chief Architect

I've worked with the Chief Architects of many large organizations. Most of them have a sharp wit, broad knowledge and can spot architectural mistakes (and BS) from 50,000 feet.

However, I did run into one Chief Architect who appeared to add little value. He was an administrator. Under his direction enterprise architecture became an administrative tax:

EA governance became a heavy, bureaucratic process highly focused on technology architecture.

EA was reduced to maintenance of technology standards (lists).

EA's value proposition was reduced to the validation of new technology standards. Any project that wanted to use any technology had to get it on the standards list. The standards list included version numbers — projects required EA approval for routine version updates.

This is an example of EA hijacking — when someone who doesn't know what enterprise architecture is (and doesn't care) uses the EA mandate to tackle a personal agenda.

It's also an example of a sinking enterprise architect.

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