An Architect Must Stand in the Middle
I recently had a friend renovate a 19th century farmhouse. Early in the process they interviewed architects, the original type, to help them with designs and pulling together the vision they had for making this antique house, modern and comfortable but without losing it's antique charm. One of the architects they interviewed was an old acquaintance and he apparently failed the interview miserably. "He just doesn't listen! No matter what I said he overrode my views and opinions with his own. He just was never going to understand the vision we have for this house." This got me thinking because the title of application architect or enterprise architect comes right from the process or planning, designing and monitoring of a building's construction.
The job of any architect is to help build something. In this context we are deal ing with IT Systems but in all projects in which architects are involved they represent a critical hub to the success of the project. The job of any architect is to stand in the middle. Whether it is between customer and builders or between management and development, a good architect must understand their role by being able to express the vision and long-term goals of those that are allocating the capital to the project as well as provide the technical guidance to those who must do the construction and implementation.
A good IT architect will be an excellent listener and evaluator. Understanding the reason for a capital expenditure is crucial to determining the goals and vision a management team has for the future of their organization. Many times the goal of a project is not to create something new but to alter an existing system. In this situation a good architect will realize that there are reasons behind this project that will reposition this organization for greater efficiency, better profits, larger client base, a better strategic position, greater security or any number of possible motivations.
... more to come!
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