Friday, March 18, 2011

Enterprise Architects are Domain Dependent or Not

There is a discussion on: Can you apply sound EA practices across any domain or market?
One analogy I can think of is that a great landmark architect can accept architecture projects in different environment with different requirements, and do a good job in each case. The critical trait he/she has is the creativity combined with well-trained skills to come with a unique architecture solution that meets the requirements and fit the environment well. I believe this is the trait we need to have to accomplish any type of architectures successfully.
If we can handle an architecture assignment successfully or not, either in enterprise scope, a solution domain, or in architecture sub-domains, depends on if we can understand the requirements well for the required domain, scope, and environment. As we know, enterprise architecture has many components (or sub-domains), e.g. business, applications, information/data, infrastructure, technologies. How much each enterprise architect can handle depends on his/her background knowledge, experience, and skills let alone the creativity trait.
The easy acceptance of Big 5 is the repeatable processes (I don’t want to comment on if they are really the best practices or not) they tend to use with replaceable resources, which create similar results with less risk. This is a productivity-driven approach. The analogy is that the experienced architects produced “model home” architectures, while others go out to build many of those for their customers. However in reality, the production level “home building” approach does not fit everyone, which is one major reason for lacking of success stories. Each individual architect does make difference. In software industry, it tends to say, behind each successful product, there is a superstar architect. I believe this applies to architecture in any domain and any level.

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