Home
Business Guide
 
simplicable technology guide   »  enterprise architecture   »  ea simplified

How to Explain Enterprise Architecture To Your Grandmother

        posted by , October 26, 2011

How would you explain enterprise architecture to your grandmother?

Why I Ask

Some years ago I was involved in hiring 200+ developers for a new offshore development center. That meant conducting 300-400 technical interviews over the span of a year.

I quickly realized how difficult it can be to differentiate true talent from cut-n-paste developers (within a 30 minute phone conversation). The reason: communication skills. Common problems include:

- jumping into low level details with no context
- using obscure proprietary terminology
- insensitivity to audience feedback

Communication skills are important but in this case it was a minor consideration. I was more interested in core technical understanding. Whenever an answer was difficult to understand — I asked the interviewee to explain it like they were explaining it to their grandmother.

It worked well — developers often assume that other technical folks are on the same page. They may also assume that business and technical terms used at one organization are common industry terms when they are not. However, when asked to explain their projects to a layman — things get much clearer.

Implications for Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architects must regularly explain complex technical concepts in the most simple of terms. At times, I have found it useful to ponder — how would I explain this to my Grandmother?

Not everything an EA communicates should be in layman terms. However, it is a useful exercise to think-out an explanation that doesn't rely on specialized terms.

Enterprise Architecture for Grandmothers

How I would explain EA to my grandmother:

A Enterprise Architect is like a city planner. A city planner sets building codes and plans common services such as roads and water. Enterprise Architects do the same thing for technology.

21 Shares Google Twitter Facebook



Related Articles



Enterprise Architecture
How to architect an organization.




Why risks and even vulnerabilities aren't necessarily bad.

Our guide to the ITIL framework.

Learn about common root causes of security risks.

Current state blueprints capture business, data and implementation architecture at the conceptual, logical and physical levels.


Recently on Simplicable


Where the Cloud Was Born

posted by Anna Mar
It sometimes feels as if we've entered a world of cloud and now there's nothing but cloud.

9 Reasons To Go Private Cloud

posted by Anna Mar
In the future, large sophisticated organizations will own clouds, small businesses won't.

7 Reasons To Go Public Cloud

posted by Anna Mar
As fun as investing in private cloud may be, it's an expensive proposition. Public cloud has several advantages.

Why Hybrid Cloud is Inevitable

posted by Anna Mar
The decision to integrate clouds is usually a no-brainer.

Sitemap













about     contact     sitemap     privacy     terms of service     copyright