Are enterprise architects too often the 'heavies'?

Summary:Some EAs apply carrots, others try to apply sticks. Which works best?

Sometimes, it seems EAs end up being the only ones trying to achieve some semblance of order from the spaghetti patchworks of systems that are today's enterprises. Some apply carrots, others try to apply sticks. Jack Vaughan over at SearchSOA just interviewed Leonard Fehskens, vice president and global profession lead at The Open Group, on the state of EA.

EAs often have to "walk a fine line" between that of facilitator and disciplinarian, and too often the latter, he says:

"When EAs get too wrapped up in policing... two things happen: They stop thinking about architecture, and they get disliked by people because they become perceived as people who are always telling everybody else what they can or can’t do."

The best approach to governance, Fehskens says, is to instill authority through competence and knowledge. "People don’t listen to an architect because they have to, but because they think it’s the right thing to do, it’s the sensible thing for them to do."

Topics: CXO


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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