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Attracting, retaining and getting the best from your architects

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Meetup sessions at x:pand Melbourne and x:pand Sydney, October 2015
(hosted by x:pand and Australasian Architecture Network)

The Australasian Architecture Network has hosted a number of recent meet ups aimed at educating talented people across a range of new technologies and technical areas. This time we’re looking at something much more important, the people. In particular it will focus on how you can get the best from the Architects in your business and how they can deliver the best results to you.

It will look at the age old debate which always exists in this field between art and science, the creative vs. the coder. What types of projects require what types of people and how do you get the best results from such a diverse range of individuals.

Veröffentlicht in: Business
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Attracting, retaining and getting the best from your architects

  1. 1. Attracting, retaining and getting the best from your architects Tom Graves, Tetradian Consulting with xpand Melbourne / Sydney, October 2015
  2. 2. Hi. I’m Tom Graves. (enterprise-architect, business-anarchist, confusionist, nuisance, that kind of stuff…)
  3. 3. “What’s the story?” What do architects do?
  4. 4. CC-BY Tom Graves Where is architecture? Building-blocks of a generic built-structure
  5. 5. Where is architecture? Building-blocks of a generic business-structure Contact Customer Manage the Business Support the Business Accept Orders Deliver Orders Process Orders Fulfil Orders
  6. 6. Where is architecture? The architecture is in the ‘between-spaces’ Contact Customer Manage the Business Support the Business Accept Orders Deliver Orders Process Orders Fulfil Orders analysts (within the boxes) architects (between the boxes)
  7. 7. Solution architects (connect everything together within a project) Who are the architects? design-solutions will be needed wherever there’s some kind of change going on… - project, programme, portfolio, transformation - …and wherever a solution is being developed, we’ll need a solution-architect
  8. 8. Domain architects (connect everything across a discipline or domain) Who are the architects? these include: infrastructure-architect, data-architect, applications-architect, business-architect, security-architect, financial-architect, facilities-architect, brand-architect, organisation-architect, process-architect, skills/training architect, governance-architect, and many more
  9. 9. Enterprise architects (connect everything together) Who are the architects? that ‘everything’ will include: IT-infrastructure, data, applications, non-IT technologies, business-models, security, financials, facilities, brands, organisation- structures, processes, interactions, skills/training, governance, quality, environment, health-and-safety… - every distinct domain, and much, much more
  10. 10. The EA Mantra (phrases that you’ll often hear architects say…) “I don’t know…” “(but I know how to find out)” “It depends…” “(and I know what it depends on)” “Just enough detail…” “(and I know the level of detail that it needs)”
  11. 11. “You don’t want your strategies following spaghetti roads - you want them moving through your company on logical, straight highways.” (well-known large consultancy) The expectation?
  12. 12. “The enterprise architecture transition plan is a simple artifact.” “It consists of a set of: - Gantt charts - transformative investments - planning time-horizons (in years) - SDLC phases - descriptive narrative” (well-known EA consultant) The expectation?
  13. 13. The reality… Yeah, it’s messy… - always…
  14. 14. Work with the uncertainty… (Architects must connect across the whole context-space) Ambiguous but Actionable Not-known, None-of-the-above Complicated but Controllable Simple and Straightforward (boundary of effective-certainty) (transition from plan to action) (ORDER) (UNORDER) NOW! Certain (increasingly uncertain) (indefinite future)
  15. 15. Ultimately, architecture is everyone’s responsibility (Architects just help it along a bit…)
  16. 16. …it’s Not A Good Idea… Architecture matters: “the purpose of the system is [expressed in] what it does” Without architecture as anchor, what we’d get is a random mix of POSIWID:
  17. 17. “What’s the story?”What value do architects deliver?
  18. 18. The aim of all architecture: things work better when they work together on purpose
  19. 19. …which implies further questions: • Things – what things? and who decides? • Work – what work? in what sense of ‘work’? • Better – ‘better’ for what? or who? in what sense? who decides? • Together – what kind of ‘together’? how? why? where? • On purpose – who chooses the purpose? for what? for whom? and why? - architecture within architecture…
  20. 20. …so, for enterprise-architecture: what things? short answer: everything! -that’s the whole point! (and yes, a whole lot broader than just IT alone…)
  21. 21. CC-BY-SA MysteryBee via Flickr For example, digital transformation is not just about changing from one type of computer…
  22. 22. CC-BY Highways Agency via Flickr to another computer…
  23. 23. ‘Going digital’ transforms the scope Inside-in: Fixing-up within one department (TOGAF 8)
  24. 24. ‘Going digital’ transforms the scope Inside-out: It’s all about our own organisation (TOGAF 9)
  25. 25. ‘Going digital’ transforms the scope Outside-in: Interacting with the customer and their needs
  26. 26. ‘Going digital’ transforms the scope Outside-out: A much broader world of stakeholders out there
  27. 27. …even more, from user-as-robot… CC-BY justin pickard via Flickr
  28. 28. …to person as person! CC-BY andré luís via Flickr
  29. 29. Skillsets across the whole space… Distinct modes: Simple, Complicated, Ambiguous, Not-known Ambiguous but Actionable Not-known, None-of-the-above Complicated but Controllable Simple and Straightforward (boundary of effective-certainty) (transition from plan to action) reframe rich-randomness (principles) NOW! Certain (increasingly uncertain) (indefinite future) regulation rotation (rules) reciprocation resonance (algorithms) recursion reflexion (guidelines)
  30. 30. Skillsets across the whole space… Agent, analyst, alchemist, anarchist, in business context… Ambiguous but Actionable Not-known, None-of-the-above Complicated but Controllable Simple and Straightforward (boundary of effective-certainty) (transition from plan to action) NOW! Certain (increasingly uncertain) (indefinite future) alchemist anarchist analyst agent enterprise architect
  31. 31. Skillsets across the whole space… Maintaining balance: business-analyst, business-anarchist Ambiguous but Actionable Not-known, None-of- the-above Complicated but Controllable Simple and Straightforward business anarchist (boundary of effective-certainty) NOW! Certain (increasingly uncertain) (indefinite future) business analyst enterprise architect
  32. 32. The value of architecture… is in how well everything works together with everything else on purpose across the whole enterprise (yet we can often only see this happening when viewed across the whole enterprise…)
  33. 33. “What’s the story?”How do we attract good architects?
  34. 34. The easy way out? - the big-consultancy pitch: “We will do your architecture for you!” Don’t do this! Almost invariably, it results in expensively-useless shelfware…
  35. 35. Don’t outsource your architecture!
  36. 36. Architecture is everyone’s responsibility - hence it can only be done in-house. In-house architects assist in and remind everyone of that responsibility. Use external consultants to help build architecture-maturity and architecture-skills and competence - not to ‘do the architecture’.
  37. 37. Next task… Find, maintain and nurture those in-house architects. (which may not be as simple as we might expect…)
  38. 38. CC-BY GreaterGrandIsland via Flickr How do we find our architects?
  39. 39. Architecture is a mindset more than a job-title… Good candidates for architecture might be found anywhere in and beyond the organisation… …but current recruitment-models can make it very hard to find them…
  40. 40. Most certification schemes are meaningless for this… They test ability to repeat rote-learning – almost exactly what we don’t need. Knowledge of shared-terminology is useful, but trivial to acquire…
  41. 41. Skill-level of ‘TOGAF Certified’ A five-day course does not an architect make…
  42. 42. Lazy recruiters use certification schemes as a tick-the-box filter… Result: a five-day course gets higher priority than 20 years of experience? Sheer madness – somehow we must bring these ‘certification-scams’ to a close…
  43. 43. Key characteristics of architects: a) could be anywhere, in any job b) are cross-disciplinary generalists c) skillset and experience will often combine technical, arts, humanities, across multiple industries
  44. 44. Most current recruitment would: a) fail to see most of them b) ignore them if they appear c) actively penalise them Not exactly helpful for anyone’s needs…
  45. 45. CC-BY-SA Kurayba via Flickr And we need those eccentrics… …they’re the ones who provide the leverage to help things change
  46. 46. Look for people who: - notice things (are interested in everything) - are interested in how things fit together - have diverse careers (across many industries) - connect with people (across broader scope) - translate between multiple domains - explain and simplify (yet not to simplistic) - resolve the EA mantra (via action and story)
  47. 47. The answer’s a story… For each of the EA Mantra elements - “I don’t know…” - “It depends…” - “Just enough detail…” - the ‘wannabe’ will give the stock answer - the natural-architect will give a personal story or a personal example
  48. 48. “What’s the story?”How do you retain good architects?
  49. 49. …why would anyone want to be an architect in your enterprise? Motivations…
  50. 50. CC-BY quaziefoto via Flickr Pay-levels are important, but…
  51. 51. Research: money-alone only motivates for ‘robotic’-type (non-skilled) work… CC-BY justin pickard via Flickr
  52. 52. …for skilled-work, relying on money alone as a motivator can often make things worse. CC-BY andré luís via Flickr
  53. 53. CC-BY GreaterGrandIsland via Flickr Find the right motivation…
  54. 54. To motivate skills-work… What research shows will work, for individuals: • Autonomy (decision-making at the point of action) • Mastery (development of personal skill) • Purpose (guidelines to assess personal achievement) (Note: in Taylorist models, all of these are explicitly blocked or forbidden) …and at the collective level: • Fairness (socially-determined) • Shared-purpose (vision/values etc ‘greater than self’)
  55. 55. …architects do have rare skillsets that take decades to develop and provide huge leverage for value Fair pay does matter… - so pay enough to ensure that it’s not a concern - make it not be a distraction!
  56. 56. the work needs meaning, based on intrinsic motivation, not extrinsic But it’s really about the work… - so don’t crush that motivation with clumsy attempts at ‘control’!
  57. 57. - provide the freedom and permission to explore everything, everywhere Help the architects to develop their skills… - keep the focus on connection, not solely on ‘production’ - learn ‘just enough language’ to connect everywhere across all of the enterprise domains
  58. 58. - having the right tools does make a big difference The tools of the trade… - but don’t rush off to buy a fancy ‘EA toolset’ right at the start!
  59. 59. Solution-architect’s toolset
  60. 60. CC-BY-SA MattHurst via Flickr Enterprise-architect’s toolset
  61. 61. The real challenge of our toolsets Our tools are scattered all along the Squiggle…
  62. 62. The real challenge of our toolsets …but they don’t connect up! – we need to resolve this!
  63. 63. Building connections takes time! In particular, building the deep social network that’s essential for the shared-responsibility of architecture will probably take at least 2-3 years… There’s no short-cut to this that works…
  64. 64. “What’s the story?”How do you get the best from your architects?
  65. 65. - use an iterative development-method Develop step-by-step - use a maturity-model for overall guidance - each iteration is for a specific business-purpose with specific business-value - each iteration adds more to the overall ‘architecture-hologram’
  66. 66. Development method The method must be usable for any type of context… Each iteration is for an identifiable business-purpose with identifiable business-value Context-neutral adaptation of TOGAF ADM
  67. 67. Maturity-model The sequence is not rigid, but every out-of-sequence work-item incurs technical-debt and technical-risk.
  68. 68. - glossary and thesaurus (thesaurus to help cross-domain translation) A shared repository… - wiki-type collaboration-space (notes on the ‘why’ behind choices and decisions) - diagrams and models (decision-records, aids to communication) (That fancy ‘EA toolset’ does start to make sense as the repository grows and becomes more shared across the enterprise.)
  69. 69. Solution Architect diagrams, models and designs ‘Deliverables’ will vary… Domain Architect end-to-end connectivity Enterprise Architect shared sensemaking and decision-making
  70. 70. Some crucial caveats… For an architect, talking with people is essential work, not ‘goofing off’! Architects do need full authority from the executive, to connect everywhere across the enterprise… People who are talking with an architect are working, not ‘goofing off’! Architects are not ‘being insurbordinate’ when they connect across silos!
  71. 71. - almost no meaningful direct metrics for architecture performance (because it takes place in the ‘between’ spaces’) Architecture performance is hard to measure… - often visible only at whole-of-context level (often only in terms of what doesn’t happen…) - the better an architect’s work, the less visible it becomes… (a good test is that other people say, “we did it!”)
  72. 72. The real performance-metric… build perceived-value to build trust, experienced via how well everything works together with everything else on purpose across the whole enterprise
  73. 73. “What’s the story?” Wrapping up…
  74. 74. Architects connect everything together. The one-page summary… Architects are generalists, not specialists – the recruitment-process will be different. For best outcomes, keep the focus on connection, not ‘production’. Mainstream performance-metrics don’t make sense for architecture – assess as whole.
  75. 75. “What’s the story?” And finally…
  76. 76. Conference keynote / workshop Sydney, 19-21 October 2015 http://enterprisearchitectureconference.com.au To learn more… Workshop and masterclass Perth, 26-27 October 2015 Sydney, 29-30 October 2015 Melbourne, 5-6 November 2015 http://tetradian.com/events Books and research http://tetradian.com/publications http://weblog.tetradian.com
  77. 77. Themes: Maturity-model The sequence is not rigid, but every out-of-sequence work-item incurs technical-debt and technical-risk.
  78. 78. Themes: Enterprise Service Canvas Modelling the enterprise as services
  79. 79. Themes: Service-Cycle Connecting project-lifecycle to whole-context cycles
  80. 80. Themes: Beyond ‘Bimodal IT’ Balancing Waterfall, Agile and everything in between
  81. 81. Themes: Strategic assessment Use SCORE to connect capabilities to action-choices
  82. 82. “What’s the story?” Thank you!
  83. 83. Contact: Tom Graves Company: Tetradian Consulting Email: tom@tetradian.com Twitter: @tetradian ( http://twitter.com/tetradian ) Weblog: http://weblog.tetradian.com Slidedecks: http://www.slideshare.net/tetradian Publications: http://tetradianbooks.com Books: • The enterprise as story: the role of narrative in enterprise- architecture (2012) • Mapping the enterprise: modelling the enterprise as services with the Enterprise Canvas (2010) • Everyday enterprise-architecture: sensemaking, strategy, structures and solutions (2010) • Doing enterprise-architecture: process and practice in the real enterprise (2009) Image-credits: Photo-images via Flickr or Wikimedia, as shown on each slide Further information:

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