Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: The Architecture Manager – the Forgotten Enterprise Architecture Role

    I’ve met many Architecture Managers over the years.  Sometimes they go by the title of “Chief Enterprise Architect” or “Chief IT Architect” and other times, the title is “Vice President of Architecture and Strategy” or some variant.  The men and women called to serve in this unique role have...
  • Blog Post: We do what you say we will do – Integrity By Architecture

    One of the chief complaints of senior executives in midsize and large companies is that their organizations don’t “execute” on the goals that they set.  This concern is so common, it’s the butt of jokes.  Entire systems of governance and measurement are created specifically to provide assurance...
  • Blog Post: How to Become a Hero for Growth

    One thing that happens when you work to develop change across an organization: you detect the “cultural” elements of an organization that often go unnoticed by the people involved.  Just as a “Fish discovers water last,” people working in a cultural context can be fairly unaware of the implications...
  • Blog Post: Unraveling the Developer Bias in Agile Development Practices

    There is a contradiction that shows up in many books and articles on agile software development.  .  And I’m going to rant a little on one of them: the “developer” bias in Agile software practices. Before I begin my rant, I’d like to tell you where it comes from.  I am an Enterprise Architect...
  • Blog Post: Has in-person communication become the unwilling victim of technology?

    In Enterprise Architecture, one of the most important aspects of the job is not only to communicate, but to lead change.  In other words, it is great to have the data to point to a problem in an enterprise.  It is better to help that enterprise overcome it by changing something (processes,...
  • Blog Post: The most important personality trait of an Enterprise Architect

    The video below, from RSA Animate, is not about Enterprise Architecture.  At least, on the surface, it isn’t.  In the video, we hear the voice of Roman Krznaric, a philosopher, talk about the need to build a greater reliance on the human emotion of empathy in order to create social change....
  • Blog Post: The Story behind “Stories That Move Mountains”

    There is a new book available that I’d like to let everyone know about.  It is called “ Stories That Move Mountains .”  I wrote this book with two fantastic professionals Martin Sykes and Mark D. West.  In this post, I’m going to talk about how this book came to be, and why I felt so strongly...
  • Blog Post: Podcast on the Enterprise Architecture profession–Interview with CIPS’s Stephen Ibaraki

    Way back in April, I announced the first of two podcasts with the Canadian Information Processing Society.  I just realized this weekend that I had not announced the availability of the second of those podcasts.  Error corrected. The second podcast, once again hosted by the inimitable Stephen...
  • Blog Post: Positioning an Enterprise Architect for Success

    As I found in our Enterprise Architecture team in Microsoft, each time an Enterprise Architect is assigned to a specific area of the business, each one has a unique “engagement” with their stakeholders.  In very large organizations (like mine), there may be many different IT units as well as many...
  • Blog Post: Conversational Antipatterns on Message Boards

    Architects argue.  I have, over the past year, spent a good bit of time on LinkedIn Message boards.  I’ve watched a lot of people argue.  I’ve learned a great deal about Enterprise Architecture, and a few things about myself, as I’ve compared notes with individuals who have different perspectives...
  • Blog Post: How Enterprise Architects can cope with Opportunistic Failure

    You may not think that Failure is a desired outcome, and on the surface, there are some negative connotations to failure.  It just sounds “bad” for a team to fail.  However, there are times when a manager will INTENTIONALLY fail in a goal.  Let’s look at the scenario where a manager may...
  • Blog Post: Using Enterprise Architecture To Get The CIO To The Strategy Table

    Recently, Patrick Gray blogged on TechRepublic that IT has a Chicken and Egg problem.  In his post, he describes two mechanisms that CIOs take to become recognized as strategic leaders: a) work in anonymity to demonstrate that the work that they are doing is aligned, hoping someone will notice,...
  • Blog Post: To create a roadmap, we need to know what it is supposed to accomplish

    I’ve been involved in a number of meetings recently as our IT teams try to come to consensus on answering this question: What is a Roadmap?  It’s been a fascinating series of discussions.  One thing that strikes me is that most of the internal discussions, and many of the discussions I’ve seen...
  • Blog Post: IT is part of the business, but not for the reasons you think

    A colleague of mine, Gabriel Morgan, pointed out a recent Infoworld article by Bob Lewis called “ Why running IT as a business is a train wreck waiting to happen. ” So, I read the article and while I agree with some of Mr. Lewis sentiments, his logical arguments are completely random and...
  • Blog Post: Has the concept of “alignment” entered the infamous “trough of disillusionment?”

    In the May 15th issue of CIO magazine, there is a rather interesting article, especially for Enterprise Architecture practitioners.  The article, written by Stephanie Overby (a freelance writer), is titled “ RIP I.T. Value ” and opens with the following paragraph: The end of IT-business alignment...
  • Blog Post: Myths of Microsoft Culture

    From time to time, I hear interesting anecdotes from colleagues or friends outside Microsoft, telling me a story about what it’s like to work at Microsoft. Often these stories are placed into a comparative context, as in: our culture is different than Microsoft, because we do XYZ and Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: What is misalignment?

    In order to solve a problem, you have to know the problem you are solving.  In a growing number of organizations, Enterprise Architecture is responsible for insuring the alignment of business change programs (including but not limited to programs that impact computing systems).  But what does...
  • Blog Post: In the white space between stakeholders

    The more time I spend as an Enterprise Architect, the more I realize just how important this role is.  Yet, the stories that we tell fail to bring across that value.  Our metaphors (framework, capability, roadmap) are woefully inadequate to communicate the actual problems that are solved when...
  • Blog Post: Enterprise Architecture and the Lessons of History

    I am an Enterprise Architect.  It is my job to look at things the way they are, and envision the things that should be.  It is my role to describe specific actions that specific people can take to change things (systems, processes, corporate structures, etc.) to lead an enterprise towards a...
  • Blog Post: EA Leadership and Compromise: Sometimes, success is not what you think it will be

    About a week ago, I blogged a short story about a fictional town that faced a problem, with two competing solutions.  There are many observations about life in corporate IT that I included in that story: how different people can end up competing when they should be working together, how ideas can...
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