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So, you want to hire an Enterprise Architect...

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Many folks are looking for "change agents" to help them make transformation happen.  The fact that transformation hits so many areas, that an EA may be able to help plan an facilitate the change.  The reality is that very few have the soft skills to facilitate change..most use command & control to direct change.  When you hire an EA that person has some direct influence on technology but virtually none on business, and therein lies the problem.  Change happens only when the business wants it to happen, but often the EA is thrust into a role where they have to facilitate and influence. of which very few have the skill set.  Most EAs fail in this regard because they can't get anyone to listen to their "ideas" ...sound familiar ?

Transformative change needs to be planned at the highest levels and requires a collaborative effort with the executive team (esp. important to have the head of HR on board since that person can influence the culture more than anyone else = what gets rewarded => gets done).  The EA can add a tremendous value to the transformation team because of their expansive knowledge about the business model, operational models, broad understanding for aligning structures and technologies, and the skills to guide the roadmap of programs to enable the right changes to achieve short-term goals while laying the tracks for the long term sustainability.

But, if the EA is not positioned properly then most of the opportunity to guide and influence the transformation roadmap will be lost.  Some EA's can be brought as external influencers and have had some success, but the internal EA (FTE) has very little chance of success without executive sponsorship and/or a unique set of leadership skills to influence the way folks think.  THIS can be done, but the trajectory is much longer and much of the upfront opportunity to influence the decision making for effecting transformation is lost...time is not on the EA's side.

I could write volumes on this topic, but this should provide some food for thought.....Bon Appetite !


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