Friday, November 29, 2013

EA Worst Practice Alert - "I do not need to make any special effort to communicate my value, my work speaks for itself!"

Many enterprise architects are modest (otherwise a great quality!) and feel awkward when they have to toot their own horn, the "value horn", if you will...

Shouldn't our work speak for itself? What value is there in being pompous and blowing our own horns, as if there is any dearth of such self aggrandizing individuals?

Even though modesty and humility is a very noble trait, it could be disastrous for fledgling Enterprise Architecture programs! Business leaders have overwhelming list of priorities and to-do's, not unlike their IT counterparts. It is our job to find ways to regularly communicate our message. If Enterprise Architects do not make an explicit effort to fill this communication vacuum, it will automatically be filled either by recent IT issues (and there are lots of them!) or sheer apathy - both of which are dangerous to an EA program.

Here is a quick list of simple yet powerful actions to take:

  • Define key Enterprise Architecture metrics that demonstrate business value. Remember - the metrics should be defined in terms of business outcomes, not IT techno-babble.
  • Define vehicles and frequency of communicating these metrics.
  • Identify key stakeholders (IT and business) who you will reach out to.
Through these metrics, you will not only be to demonstrate the value that you bring to the table, but also show incremental progress. Both these aspects instill confidence in your stakeholders about how you run your business.

If you can run your own business well, others will start trusting you with theirs!! :-)

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