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Developing High Performing Architecture Teams

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Developing High Performing Architecture Teams

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Slidedeck for a workshop delivered at the EAC Europe conference in 2016, about how to develop an effective architecture function within an organisation, focusing on the need for soft skills

Slidedeck for a workshop delivered at the EAC Europe conference in 2016, about how to develop an effective architecture function within an organisation, focusing on the need for soft skills


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Developing High Performing Architecture Teams

  1. 1. Developing High-Performing Architecture teams Sally Bean sally@sallybean.com @cybersal © Sally Bean 2016 1
  2. 2. Questions covered in this workshop • What are the main characteristics of High-Performing Architecture Teams...and Architects? • How to position ‘The practice of Architecture' within the organisation to achieve maximum value? • How to develop effective Architects and Teams? • Why are 'Soft Skills' so important, and how can we improve them? 2
  3. 3. Corporate Citizen (British Airways) Free Agent EAC Community Facilitator/Member Who am I and how did I get here? 3 1976 2016 OR Analyst/ Programmer Business Architect BA CoP 200619961986 EAA SCiO Co-Chair CoF Speaker/attendee EA Consultant Coach/Mentor EAST
  4. 4. Let’s Get Started! 4
  5. 5. It’s hard to progress up this staircase without help from above! Audience calibration: What is your role and where are you on this scale? 5 Aware Knows what it is Apprentice Some experience and knowledge of techniques and methods Practitioner Track record of competent performance Expert Can execute confidently Master Deep understanding Handles complex issues Guru Recognised globally Innocent May be able to spell it
  6. 6. How would you recognise a High- Performing Architecture Team 6 ?
  7. 7. What sort of things do Research Analysts say? “….maintain Laser Focus on Business Outcomes” “….maintain Laser Focus on Driving Digital Innovation” 7 “High Performing Architecture Teams…….
  8. 8. What sort of things do our clients, sponsors and consumers say? • “You know, for the first time, I think I understand how this business works” (CEO of a biotech firm after an enterprise modelling effort) • “‘You are a very valued member of our Airport 2000 team. You keep us thinking corporately when we would rather not. You are always helpful when we are in a hole. You have brought some structure to our thinking that has been an enormous help” • These guys have a knack of getting beyond the mechanics of how things work and empathise with the frustrations of my folk who spend their lives unpicking the consequences of incorrect product labelling. Most of our problems are human, not technical • “We were able to get this done so quickly because we had such a great architecture” • “I cannot think of another piece of work that has made such dramatic progress in British Airways in such a short time” 8
  9. 9. Which ‘Architects’ are we talking about? 9
  10. 10. Design and Manage Models of the Enterprise and its IT What do Architects do?
  11. 11. Things that make Architecture challenging • Hard to describe • Craft skill, learned by doing • Importance of context • Non-linear approach • Working across boundaries • Engaging the right stakeholders • Balancing competing forces 11 Architecture is a practice, not a process
  12. 12. Gerben Weirda’s view: Enterprise Architecture is the Chess Game from Hell • “We need to organise the real know-how…..so the best ‘architects’ make the design decisions…… • We need to set up our EA function so all this know- how can effectively be brought to the table… • What we therefore need to set up is Effective Collaboration 12
  13. 13. What do the best Architects really do? My empirical observations Designing Organising elements to specify something of enduring value to stakeholders that will be built by someone else Map-Making Representing complex sets of elements in a ‘landscape’ or on a timeline to illustrate how they are interrelated Exploring Gathering information and observations from multiple sources and making sense of it. Generating options Improvisational Choreography Facilitating the participation of diverse stakeholders in a complex endeavour Storytelling Describing the past, the present and the future and how they are connected in ways that engage people’s emotions Learning Gathering, organising and sharing knowledge and expertise on all of the above Advising Using their knowledge and connections to provide trusted, balanced guidance 13 AND…added by workshop attendees: Psychology, Therapy, Anthropology and Boundary-Spanning
  14. 14. There are 3 main types of Architect role within the scope of this workshop 14 Accountable for ensuring specific solutions to meet requirements, conform to enterprise architecture and integrate with other systems. Coordinates, negotiates and escalates trade- off decisions. Project or Solution Architect Has in-depth expertise in a specific architectural domain (e.g. business, data, technology) contributing to design/modelling activity and target architectures as appropriate Domain Architect Responsible for architecture at enterprise, business segment or portfolio level, advocating decisions and actions from enterprise-wide, sustainable perspective. Establishes the framework and processes for coordinating different types of architecture Enterprise Architect
  15. 15. Architects can participate in different types of group 15 Practice Teams Task Teams Networks Working IN the Practice of Architecture, often cross-functionally Working ON the Practice of Architecture Spreading the word on architecture and learning from others’ experiences Decision-Making Teams
  16. 16. If you are an Architect, where are your ‘clients’? 16 CIO CEO Business Execs Portfolio Managers Suppliers & Vendors IT Delivery Project Mgrs IT Service Mgrs IT Delivery Project teams ? ? Architects add most value in the spaces and connections Adapted from ‘The Search for Leadership, An Organisational Perspective’ by William Tate
  17. 17. High-Performing Architecture Teams add value in these sorts of ways • Enabling other groups to do brilliant things • Explaining to people why doing stupid things is a bad idea • Helping people to think through the results of ideas and decisions • Facilitating joined-up thinking and action 17 The value is generally realised through others
  18. 18. Characteristics identified in stories contributed by workshop participants 18 Solve by themselves Facilitator/Improvisor Presenting complexity in elegant way Trust Simple insights are powerful Experience (consultant’s role) Don’t need to do too much analysis Power of external validation of ideas Peer Validation Emotional history makes complex Engagement Leadership Building Relationships Having authority to make decisions Stakeholder Trust Put the right people together
  19. 19. How to Position Architecture in the Organisation for Maximum Value 19
  20. 20. When implementing architecture, start from a model of the enterprise …. 20 Externalenvironment (market,legislators,supplychain,etc) Creating Tomorrow’s Enterprise Change the businesssDevelop the business New capabilities Change directives Performance Issues Operational Expertise Today’s Enterprise Run the Business Core Processes Enabling Processes Guiding Processes Adaptive Change
  21. 21. ..Consider the problems it’s struggling with… 21 Externalenvironment (market,legislators,supplychain,etc) Creating Tomorrow’s Enterprise Change the businesssDevelop the business New capabilities Change directives Performance Issues Operational Expertise Today’s Enterprise Run the Business Core Processes Enabling Processes Guiding Processes Adaptive Change Can’t adapt fast enough to external change Overheads of project start-up Business Process Disconnects Critical Project Requirements and interfaces get missed Don’t understand Project Overlaps and synergies Poor information quality leading to poor service and bad decisionsCompliance issues Lack of understanding of how business works Inappropriate Technology Inflexible IT Strategic Intent not communicated
  22. 22. Collaborative Practices Architecture BPM ? Today’s Enterprise Run the Business Core Processes Enabling Processes Guiding Processes Adaptive Change Creating Tomorrow’s enterprise Change the businesssDevelop the business ….and see where architecture activities can best help 22 Externalenvironment (market,legislators,supplychain,etc)
  23. 23. Collaborative Practices EA Today’s Enterprise Run the Business Core Processes Enabling Processes Guiding Processes Adaptive Change Tomorrow’s enterprise Change the businesssDevelop the business e.g. candidate activities for an EA team…. Externalenvironment (market,legislators,supplychain,etc) 23 Strategy Articulation Enterprise Model Management Project Guidance and Assurance Standards, Policies and Governance Investment & ‘Roadmap’ planning Process/Resource Optimisation Business & Technology Trend assessment Building Block Specification Problem-Solving Business/IT change design
  24. 24. How do we co-create value from these activities? With whom and for whom? ‘Big Pictures’ Common Language Governance System Design Guidance Models & Blueprints Road Maps Building Blocks Outputs? Improved Shared Understanding Resource-sharing- opportunities More flexible system designs/redesigns Architecture Outcomes? Efficiency improvements Better customer service Enablement of Change & Innovation Control of Risk ‘Downstream’ Benefits?
  25. 25. Architecture is more a discipline than a department, with a wide community of interest • Core – Sponsors and Champions – People accountable for practice, • Extended Community – People who contribute their knowledge to the production of Architecture – People who make Architecture-informed decisions • Consumers – People who make use of Architecture content or shared components of some kind 25
  26. 26. Architecture Stakeholders (not exhaustive) You might map them differently 26 Core Sponsors Head of Architecture Groups Methodologists Business Applications Data Technology Tool Support Communications Extended Community Architecture Review Board Business Process Owners Portfolio Managers Data/Information management specialists Methodologists IT Ops Planners Vendors & Suppliers Subject matter experts Business Management Consumers Project Managers Development teams Business Management IT Ops Mgt Change Managers HR Finance Purchasing Misc Information seekers etc
  27. 27. Think about your stakeholders Stakeholder Desired Change Their Motivation Their Understanding Their Ability 27 ALLIESBLOCKERS SUPPORTERSSLOWERS LevelofPower Level of Shared Interest The well-known Stakeholder analysis matrix This is more useful
  28. 28. Don’t forget that stakeholders are people 28 “You cannot direct a living system, you can only disturb it” (Frijtof Capra)
  29. 29. Culture is really really important Anthropology comes before Architecture 29
  30. 30. You cannot communicate too much • Actively involve stakeholders in dialogue and problem-solving where possible • Tailor communication content and style to audience • Avoid platitudes and mumbo-jumbo (remember the linguistic firewall!) • Ensure communication is actionable 30
  31. 31. Individual Effectiveness 31
  32. 32. Dimensions of Personal Effectiveness for Architects • Architectural/Technical Skills • Business Skills • Behavioural Skills/Mindset • Experience (simple -> complex) • Sophistication (recipe-follower -> chef) 32 Effectiveness is not about having a certification
  33. 33. Mainstream Skills Frameworks are only a starting point • A skills framework lists the skills required to operate in a role at a certain level • But how do you recognise competence in those skills and ensure it matches what’s being demanded of a person • Most industry frameworks provide a good starting point but are too generic to be used for selection, assessment and development without more detailed work
  34. 34. HR practitioners distinguish between skills and competencies 34 COMPETENCY The ability to apply the skill in a particular context SKILL The ability to do an activity well.
  35. 35. Thinking about Competency: Job competence 35 Accountabilities & Commitments Behavioural Skills & Knowledge Personality Traits Beliefs & Values Functional Skills and Knowledge Role Purpose & Authority What’s expected of me? How do I fit in to the overall work system? What skills and knowledge am I being employed for? How should I go about my work to be successful? What internal deep- seated characteristics may help or hinder? Engagement of stakeholders in production of deliverables Deliverables and outcomes for stakeholders
  36. 36. Contextual Knowledge and Awareness 36 Organization Country/ Society National/ Cultural Norms Organisational Targets Organization’s espoused brand values and ways of working Organization’s Culture & Undiscussibles Knowledge of Industry and Business (Strategy, customers, suppliers, products, systems) National Legislation Business Model and Operating Model for our organization Professional Norms Professional Stereotypes Professional Standards Code of conduct Profession How does my work fit into the bigger organisational picture? What external influences are there? What do I need to know about the business? What professional guidance is there? What behavioural factors do I need to consider? What are the deep seated unspoken factors that might impact change?
  37. 37. The complete competency Landscape 37 Accounta- bilities Business and Professional Domain skills Visible Behaviour Deep-Seated Behaviours Behavioural Skills Personality Traits Beliefs & Values Functional and Technical Skills and Knowledge Job Organization National/ Cultural Norms Country/ Society Organization’s espoused Brand values and ways of working Organization’s Culture & Undiscussibles Knowledge of Industry and Business (strategy, customers, suppliers, products, systems) Positioning Professional Norms Professional Stereotypes Professional Standards Profession Commitments (soft and hard) National Legislation Organisational Strategy & Policies Role, Authority & Stakeholders Business Model and Operating Model for our organization Code of conduct
  38. 38. @ Sally Bean 2007 38 Build your own self-assessment framework for competencies Competency Area  Competency 1  Competency 2  Etc… What you need to do What you need to avoid Learning Activities Competency Definition: Description of the competency Behaviours that characterise the competency Counter-behaviours Books, websites, training courses and work-based activities What you need to do What you need to avoid Learning Activities Competency Definition: Description of the competency Behaviours that characterise the competency Counter-behaviours Books, websites, training courses and work-based activities What do high performers do What do high performers rarely/never do but novices do frequently Learning Activities (skills and knowledge) Competency 1: Statement that describes the competency Behaviours that characterise the competency Counter-behaviours Books, websites, training courses and work-based activities
  39. 39. Example of a Competency Description: Communications Planning • Behaviours – Demonstrates clarity of intent of communication and actions expected as a result – Identifies all the relevant stakeholders – Appreciates the situation and knowledge of recipients and focuses on their concerns, needs, and opportunities. – Can use a variety of communication channels and chooses the most appropriate one for a particular purpose. – Follows up on communication to enable the recipients to provide feedback and explore what it means for them. – Applies metaphors intelligently to get new ideas across – Constructs interesting ‘stories’ to take stakeholder groups through complex issues • Anti-Behaviours – Assuming the wrong level of knowledge and either patronising or baffling the recipients as a result – Unfocused broadcasting of information – Providing insufficient context or assuming too much prior knowledge – Failing to motivate recipients sufficiently to participate in communication, or to act upon it – Mistiming communication so that recipients won’t be receptive. – Treating communication as a one-off activity Description: Can structure and target communication with different stakeholder groups, identifying key messages, using appropriate channels and aiming at specific outcomes
  40. 40. To Develop Competence, Adopt a ‘Blended Learning’ Approach • Team Workshops • Bespoke consultancy support • Training Courses • Individual Work-based learning activities • Reading Groups • Coaching & Mentoring • Communities of Practice • Action Learning Sets 40 Use these ideas to design a picture of competence and a behavioural toolkit for self-assessment and development in your context. Encourage individuals and groups to develop their own blended learning strategies.
  41. 41. The idea of the ‘T-shaped’ designer has been around for a while, promoted by IDEO 41 DISPOSITION FOR COLLABORATION ACROSS DISCIPLINES DEPTHOFCORESKILL http://chiefexecutive.net/ideo-ceo-tim-brown-t-shaped-stars-the-backbone-of-ideoae%E2%84%A2s-collaborative-culture/
  42. 42. For Architects, we can contrast T-shaped with I-Shaped or Crossbar-shaped profiles 42 The ‘Broken comb’-shaped person The ‘Crossbar’-shaped person The I-shaped person The Pi-shaped person
  43. 43. 43 Summary: developing a competency model for a job family in an organisation Understand Context • Architecture purpose, products & process • Practical Issues and needs • Working Group Define Roles Define Competencies Engage Stakeholders Identify Learning Activities Plan implementation •Role Type descriptions •Job Templates •Competency model (Knowledge, skills, behaviours) •Blended learning programme External Best Practice Internal Competency Framework Internal Training Support
  44. 44. ‘Soft’ Skills 44
  45. 45. 5 Areas of Behavioural Competency for Enterprise Architects 45 Establishes changes needed and energises and influences others towards achieving them without having the authority to do so. Takes on new ideas and knowledge. Helps others to develop architectural capability Thinks conceptually and practically, with a repertoire of approaches for assessing and improving situations Works well with range of people across organizational boundaries. Facilitates groups to resolve issues and co-create results. COMMUNICATION CHANGE LEADERSHIP LEARNING FLEXIBLE THINKING COLLABORATION Interacts effectively with different types of people, listening with an open mind and putting across own thoughts, ideas and points of view clearly and convincingly
  46. 46. Specific Behavioural Competencies within the 5 Areas 46 COMMUNICATION CHANGE LEADERSHIP LEARNINGFLEXIBLE THINKING •Information Seeking •Dialogue •Communications Planning •Presentation •Content Creation •Credibility & Influence •Direction-Setting •Action- Orientation •Change Planning •Self-Development •Knowledge-Sharing •Community Leadership •Coaching/Mentoring •Sense-Making •Inquiry Design •Synthesis •Decision-Making •Creativity & Innovation •Relationship Building •Team Working •Facilitation •Conflict Resolution COMMUNICATION CHANGE LEADERSHIP LEARNING FLEXIBLE THINKING COLLABORATION
  47. 47. Challenge: Architects may not be ‘wired’ for soft skills 47 • ‘Systematizing’ is the drive to analyse, explore and construct a system • ‘Empathizing’ is the drive to identify another person’s emotions and thoughts and respond appropriately • The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding & building systems • The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy • In some individuals, systematizing and empathizing are equally strong (Balanced Brain) Simon Baron-Cohen Author of “The Essential Difference”
  48. 48. Personality Profiling helps develop Behavioural Competencies 48 Behavioural Competencies Personality Traits Effects of personality on behaviour : • How you respond to people • How you process information • How you make decisions • How you react to conflict • How you deal with stressful situations Personality: • A set of observable factors • Moderately stable in an individual over time (though can be adapted to context) • Differentiates between individuals
  49. 49. Benefits of Personality Profiling • Provides a language to discuss behaviour • Helps us understand ourselves and other people better • Helps us build rapport and influence • Helps us recognise the value of diversity • Helps us manage conflict • Helps us work collaboratively and co- create results 49
  50. 50. How Personality Profiling can contribute to competency development 50 Designing Communications Stakeholder Analysis Motivating people to change Increasing Self- Awareness Coaching & Feedback Applying different styles of thinking Creativity & Innovation Resolving Conflict Designing Workshops Putting Teams together COMMUNICATION CHANGE LEADERSHIP LEARNING FLEXIBLE THINKING COLLABORATION
  51. 51. Criticisms of personality profiling • Seen as labels or pigeonholes • Seen as pseudo-scientific • Not rich enough to capture variety • May be used to excuse or mis- diagnose issues or patterns of behaviour 51
  52. 52. The ‘Jungian’ Model of Personality 52 INFJ INFP ISTJ ISFJ ENFJ ENFJ ESTJ ESFJ INTJ INTP ISTP ISFP ENTJ ENTP ESTP ESFP Myers-Briggs test attempts to measure these, but it is not scientifically rigorous Introversion Extroversion iNtuition Sensing Feeling Thinking Judging Perceiving
  53. 53. ‘Big 5’ Personality Traits (OCEAN) 53 Openness - + Conscientiousness - + Extraversion - + Agreeableness - + Neuroticism - +
  54. 54. The Lumina Spark portrait provides a much richer model and language to understand behaviour • Based on solid research • 3 Levels (Colours, Aspects, Qualities) • Measures 24 qualities independently • Uses meaningful, neutral language • 3 different ‘personas’ • Avoids labelling people 54www.luminalearning.com
  55. 55. spontaneous imaginative sociable adaptable collaborative intimate takes charge competitive purposeful observing evidence-based reliable YellowGreen RedBlue The top level of Lumina Spark: A simple 4-colour model
  56. 56. The 4 Colours– Under Pressure YellowGreen RedBlue Impulsive Disorganised Excitable Reliant Unassertive Passive Driven Aggressive Controlling Suspicious Indecisive Bureaucratic
  57. 57. 8 Aspects and 24 Qualities provide richer detail Qualities, or traits Aspects
  58. 58. Inspiration Driven Adaptable Flexible Spontaneous Discipline Driven Purposeful Structured Reliable Extraverted Sociable Demonstrative Takes Charge Introverted Observing Measured Intimate Big Picture Thinking Conceptual Imaginative Radical Down to Earth Practical Evidence-Based Cautious People Focused Accommodating Collaborative Empathetic Tough Competitive Logical Outcome Focused Aspects/Qualities are measured independently
  59. 59. EXAMPLE: Increasing Self-Awareness. Qualities expressed as word cloud 59
  60. 60. EXAMPLE: Communicating a new initiative, covering all the colours Practicalities • What will it actually look like? • How do we know that it will work? • What are the risks? • Does it fit with what’s going on elsewhere? Action • What are the business benefits? • What do we need to do to make change happen? • When will it happen? People • Who is the Sponsor? • Who are the stakeholders? • What will be the impact on each stakeholder group? Vision • What are the key ideas and concepts? • Will this be innovative and exciting? • Will it be good for me?
  61. 61. Early Impressions - average scores for a small sample of architects 61 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Intimate Accommodating Collaborative Empathetic Adaptable Flexible Spontaneous Conceptual Imaginative Radical Sociable Demonstrative Takes Charge Tough Competitive Logical Purposeful Structured Reliable Practical Evidence-based Cautious Observing Measured Ave
  62. 62. Numbers in top/bottom 20% of population 62 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 High Low
  63. 63. Team Effectiveness 63
  64. 64. Elements of Team effectiveness 64 Group Commitments Team Methods Local Team Dynamics & Knowledge-Sharing Team Values and Norms Responsibilities and Engagement model What’s expected of us? What specific ways of working do we adopt? What is our role within the organization and who do we connect with? How do we support and challenge each other? How do we fit in with each other? How are we percieved? Practice Teams Task Teams
  65. 65. Key Factors to consider when putting an Architecture team together • Leadership – Self-managed? • Team Composition – Coverage of competencies – Representation of interests – Personality types – Role preferences (Belbin) – Full-time/Part-time • Task/Role distribution – Balance of individual/collective tasks – Rhythm & Tempo of activity • Designing Collaboration Processes – Adapting known approaches • External relationships • Technology support for Collaboration 65
  66. 66. How Personality Profiles can help Team Effectiveness      Do we have a gap? Opposites: complementary or annoying? A language for talking about behaviour in a non-judgemental way. Are people doing tasks to which they are best suited? Awareness of each other’s communication preferences.
  67. 67. Participatory Design – creating a shared space…. • …where all stakeholders can visualise the future • …in a common language that everyone understands 67
  68. 68. Increasingly, each architecture project is unique and often feels more like a voyage of discovery “A fuzzy goal is one that motivates the general direction of the work, without blinding the team to opportunities along the journey. …… Balance focus and serendipity, and coordinate team and individual goals” (Source: Gamestorming [1])
  69. 69. Books to help you with Participatory Design 69 The best solutions are when the people with the problem become the people with the solution (The heretic’s guide to Best Practices p,131)
  70. 70. The Role of the Architecture Leader • Ensures compelling vision for Architecture exists and sets clear priorities • Gets sponsors and funding for Architecture • Good networker - provides company intelligence to teams • Stops teams getting bogged down in detail - produce 80/20 results rather than strive for perfection • Publicises team successes intelligently • Doesn’t need to be a great architect • Needs to be technically literate, but not technically skilled 70
  71. 71. Finally……don’t forget! • Anthropology comes before Architecture • Balance working IN your practice with working ON your practice • Have Fun! 71