The Profession Of IT Architecture

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  • 1. The Profession of IT Architecture
    Christopher Grant
    IT Architect – HomeDepot.com
    crgrant@gmail.com
    02/01/2010
  • 2. Objectives
    Challenges
    Highlight some of the challenges managers and professional face in understanding what IT architecture is.
    Architecture in the Organization
    Expand our view of architecture and see how it fits in the organization
    The Role of Architect
    Discuss aspects of various architect types and what skills / focus is required in each
  • 3. Challenges
  • 4. Current understanding
    People have a vague idea what an architect does
    They design an implementation
    They are subject matter experts
    They may also approve other designs
  • 5. How to become an Architect
    Promotion due to seniority
    Bob’s been a Sr. Developer for a long time, promote him to Architect
    Promotion due to expertise
    Fred really knows his stuff, lets make him an architect
    Proactive move to Architecture
    Karen applies for new positions in Architecture
  • 6. Architecture is not Development
    Architecture is a different field than Development
    Many great developers don’t thrive in architecture
    Many end up as developers with an Architect title
    Architects utilize different skills
    Less development
    Project Management
    Working with people
    Communication
  • 7. What Architect jobs are out there
    IT Architect
    Enterprise Architect
    Solution Architect
    Data Warehouse Architect
    Technical Architect
    SOA Java Architect
    Application Architect
    EDI System Architect
    Security Architect
  • 8. Common Architect Titles
    Enterprise Architect
    Solution Architect
    Domain Architect
    Application Architect
    Technical Architect
    Systems Architect
  • 9. Job Descriptions
    Solution Architect: Candidates must be consultative, seasoned veterans who can manage relationships with multiple internal and external parties, present extremely well at the executive level, and contribute with technical expertise to the work of the internal solution development staff.
  • 10. Job Descriptions
    Systems Architect: The System Architect will serve as a SharePoint .NET Developer and will be responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of e-Forms and Electronic Case Files.
  • 11. Job Descriptions
    Enterprise Technical Architect: Performs the leadership, facilitation, analysis and design tasks required for the development of an enterprise technical architecture (ETA) for the project
  • 12. What a mess
    Lack of standard terminology
    Varying expectations
    Wide range of skill sets
    How can leaders ensure proper skills coverage
    How can professionals plan a career path
    How can mangers evaluate and guide Architects
  • 13. Architecture in the Organization
    Areas of Architecture
  • 14. Types of Architecture
    To understand what architects do we need to look at the environment they work in
    In the next section we’ll look at how Architecture is segmented and fits in an IT organization
  • 15. Methods and Frameworks
    Zachman
    Togaf
    Archimate
    National Institute of Health
    Integrated Architecture Framework
  • 16. Zachman
    Categorizes Architecture based on a Grid
    Vertical
    Scope {contextual} Planner
    Business Model {conceptual} Owner
    System Model {logical} Designer
    Technology Model {physical} Builder
    Detailed Representation {out-of-context} Subcontractor
    Functioning Enterprise
    Horizontal
    What - Data
    How - Function
    Where - Network
    Who - People
    When - Time
    Why - Motivation
  • 17. Zachman
  • 18. TOGAF 9
    Architecture Principles, Vision and Requirements
    Business Architecture
    Information Systems Architectures
    Technology Architecture
    Architecture Realization
  • 19. Archimate
  • 20. National Institute of Health
  • 21. Integrated Architecture Framework
  • 22. Common Elements
    Business Architecture (What)
    Information Architecture (How)
    Technology Architecture (Where)
  • 23. Enterprise Architecture Areas
    Business Architecture (What)
    What do they do
    Who does it
    Which information do they use
    Where is it done
    Information Architecture (How)
    Data Architecture
    Integration Architecture
    Application Architecture
    Technology Architecture (Where)
    Systems Architecture
    Infrastructure
    Network
    Hardware
  • 24. The Architect Role
  • 25. What is an architect
    The Open Group states:
    An IT Architect defines solutions to client business problems through the reasoned application of information technology.
    Those solutions are documented as architectures and can include systems, applications, and process components.
    http://www.opengroup.org/itac/cert/docs/ITAC_Conformance_Requirements.pdf
  • 26. Definition Simplified
    High level
    Solves a technical problem
    Communicates the solution
    Verifies implementation follows communicated solution
  • 27. Architect v. Developer
    Developer
    Problem: How to implement the Data Access Layer
    Focused on solving an individual task
    Communication: Little to none
    Verifies Implementation: Often implements personally
    Architect
    Problem: How to integrate the Data Layer Business Logic and UI
    Planning for multiple efforts
    Communication: Working with multiple developers
    Verifies Implementation: Participates in code / implementation reviews
  • 28. Common Roles
    Enterprise (planner)
    Domain (owner)
    Solution (coordinator)
    Technical / Application (designer)
    Implementer / Developer (builder)
  • 29. Role Differentiation
    Enterprise Architect
    Architect role is defined by
    Focus – what elements does the solution cover
    Time – What is the length of time needed to implement the solution
    Domain Architect
    Focus
    Application
    Architect
    Planning Horizon
  • 30. Characteristics of each role
    The Architect Role
  • 31. Application Architect
    The designer
    Focused on the right way to use a specific technology
    Tends to be feature oriented
    Tend to evolve from Sr. Developers
    The most detailed level of architecture
    Industry based Knowledge
    Audience: Developers
  • 32. Application Architect
    Would utilizes design patterns
    Implement the best solution for a specific task
    Lead developer often fills this role
    Very few work products are actually produced
    Whiteboards or code stubs used to communicate
  • 33. Solution Architect
    The coordinator
    Project oriented
    Coordinates with multiple domain architects to design the most appropriate solution.
    Knowledge of managing people /projects
  • 34. Solution Architect
    Designs solutions that meet project requirements as well as domain and enterprise architecture guidelines.
    Communication: presents solution to a governance board. Also explains the solution to a developer
    Work products are eventually owned by the domain architect.
    Audience: App Architects / Developers
  • 35. Domain Architect
    The owner
    Focus on all aspects of a specific area
    Eg. Application owner would be interested in integration, security, performance, runtime, etc
    Audience: Solution Architects, Application Architects, Enterprise Architects, Business Partners
    A role few are prepared for
  • 36. Domain Architect
    Mostly maintains the now, but supports planning for the future
    Primarily focused on maintain a specific area of technology or a specific application
    Owners and gatekeepers for a specific area
    The work in this area is primarily concerned with the current state of the system.
    Guides designs to meet the overall objectives of the domain.
    Knowledge as Subject Matter Expert
  • 37. Enterprise Architect
    The planner
    Focuses on cross domain considerations
    Long term objectives
    Processes and governance
    Audience: CIO/CTO, All other Architects
    Note: tends to get business direction through CIO/CTO or Domain Architects.
  • 38. Enterprise Architect
    Concentrates on how the various domains or subject areas interact
    This layer spends even more time focusing on how technology will be utilized in the future
    Governs how it is used today
    Create technology roadmaps
    This layer views the enterprise as a holistic entity.
    Knowledge of “this” Business
  • 39. Example Roles
    The Architect Role
  • 40. Example Roles
    Architects do the following
    Solve Technical Problems
    Communicate the solution
    Verify Implementation
    Lets look at some examples using these criteria
  • 41. Application Architect
    Problem
    How to implement a feature request
    Communication
    Verbal, POC, Detailed Design Doc
    Verification
    Code reviews, Story Sign Off
    Timeframe
    Weeks
  • 42. Domain Architect
    Problem
    Enable correct usage of current system
    Manage future business and tech requirements
    Communication
    Current state documentation
    Plan Technology Roadmap
    Verification
    Architecture reviews
    Work with Business and IT leadership to ensure roadmap items are in project portfolio
    Timeframe
    Months
  • 43. Enterprise Architect
    Problem
    Enable standard internal develop practices
    Plan for new line of business
    Communication
    Documentation, Presentations, 1:1
    Work with multiple domain architects
    Implementation
    Architecture reviews, SDLC Processes
    Coordinate projects in IT Portfolio
    Timeframe
    Years
  • 44. Bringing it all together
    The Architect Role
  • 45. Core Skills
    All architects share many of the same core skills. How much of each skill is utilized varies by role and area
    Technology
    Technical expertise in one or more areas
    Manage Stakeholder Requirements
    Define Solution to Functional and non-functional requirements
    Validate Conformance of the solution to the architecture
  • 46. Core Skills
    People
    Understanding People
    Collaborating with others
    Listening to Understand
    Lead Individuals & Teams
  • 47. Core Skills
    Planning
    Manage Architectural Elements of an IT Project Plan
    Understand Business Aspects
    Predicting and Forecasting
    Goal Setting
  • 48. Core Skills
    Communication
    Presenting
    Speaking Technically
    Speaking non-technically
    Writing
    Documenting
  • 49. Focus by Role
  • 50. Skills by role
  • 51. Ensuring Coverage
    ?
    Enterprise
    ?
    Domain
    Architecture Roles
    ?
    Technical
    Business
    Information
    Technical
    Architecture Areas
  • 52. Closing
    One Architect can fill multiple roles and in multiple areas
    More than one architect may be needed for one area and role
    These are discussion points
    Mold them to meet your needs
    Understand the needs of your organization
    Understand the skills / focus for each role
    Take a proactive approach to the profession of IT Architecture
  • 53. Thank You
    Christopher Grant
    CRGrant@gmail.com