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Solution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of Excellence
Extract from Introduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution Architecture
Paperback - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1797567616
Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P2NCFDQ
Introduction to Solution Architecture
Page 490 of 538
8.3.38.3.38.3.38.3.3 Solution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of Excellence
The solution architecture function should aspire to be a Solution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (SACOE). This is
concerned with developing a mature function that is highly-skilled at solution architecture and design and provides solution
and consulting leadership to the organisation.
Developing an SACOE requires vision and resources of both the solution architecture function and information technology
management.
The solution architecture function has the capability to develop both the business insight and solution and technology
expertise to act as the business/technology authority and be the bridge between the business and technology domains of the
organisation. The function can thus enable the organisation achieve value and consequences such as:
• Understand, respond to and where appropriate, anticipate external business changes that will affect the organisation
• Enable the organisation to change in response to external demands and trends
• Understand the potential of new technology initiatives and capabilities and determine how the organisation can use these
to its advantage
• Ensure that solutions are aligned to the achievement of the business strategy and objectives
• Break the cycle of challenged solution delivery projects
• Differentiate the organisation and enable it to achieve operational and competitive advantage
• Ensure that value flows through the organisation to the consumer
Implementing an SACOE requires:
• A solution architecture function structure along the lines of that described in section 8.3.2 on page 487
• A solution architect capability model such as that described in section 8.2 on page 470 to measure the capabilities of the
team and to create training and development plans
• A plan for its implementation and operation and the ongoing measurement of its functioning
The purpose of the SACOE is to deliver value to the organisation, both to the information technology function and to the
wider business. Value is derived from the successful delivery of solution architecture services and the impact they have on
business operation in terms of greater solution delivery success. But the delivery of solution architecture services in
themselves is not a measure of value generated. Services are a necessary but not a sufficient measure of value. Measurements
of solution architecture value cannot not be about just the number of engagements completed and the solution designs
created. However, to be held accountable and responsible for the creation of business value, the SACOE must have the
authority to create that value. Some of the issues and limitations around the design of the solution architecture function are
discussed in section 8.3.4 on page 503. The issue of solution failure is examined in section 3.1 on page 58. The solution
architecture value proposition has to work and continue to work.
The SACOE is clearly not responsible for generating all the value that the business derives from the solution. The value is
generated by the entire delivery team, from the initial business stakeholder involvement to the business using the solution and
being supported and operated by the service management and support function and the solution being maintained by the
information technology function.
The functions of the SACOE should be:
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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FigureFigureFigureFigure 294294294294 –––– Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (SACOESACOESACOESACOE)))) FunctionsFunctionsFunctionsFunctions
These functions are listed in the table below.
FunctionFunctionFunctionFunction ElementsElementsElementsElements
Vision andVision andVision andVision and StrategyStrategyStrategyStrategy • Vision for Solution Architecture within the Organisation
• Business Strategy, Information Technology Strategy and Solution Architecture
Strategy
• Solution Architecture Principles
• Leadership
• Organisation Structure and Design
• Business Engagement Models
• Value Measurement
• Linkage to Architecture Disciplines
• Linkage to Business Analysis and Business Process Analysis
• Linkage to Solution Implementation and Delivery
• Linkage to Service Management
• Supplier Management
People AssetPeople AssetPeople AssetPeople Asset
ManagementManagementManagementManagement
• Capability Model and Assessments
• Development and Training
• Mentoring
• Career Development and Progression
• Talent Management
• Succession Planning
• Capacity Planning and Demand Management
• Staff Augmentation
ServicesServicesServicesServices • Business Engagement Types
• Consulting Services
• Solution Design
• Business Case Development
• Benefits Management
• Solution Implementation and Operation Support
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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FunctionFunctionFunctionFunction ElementsElementsElementsElements
• Technology Evaluation and Recommendation
• Research and Development
• Innovation
Governance and QualityGovernance and QualityGovernance and QualityGovernance and Quality • Quality Assurance and Control
• Knowledge Management
• Artefact Development and Maintenance
• Value Measurement
• Innovation and Research
Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools,
StandardsStandardsStandardsStandards
• Tool Selection and Use
• Methodology Development and Use
• Standards Selection/Development and Use
TableTableTableTable 106106106106 –––– SACOE FunctionsSACOE FunctionsSACOE FunctionsSACOE Functions
The principles that underpin the operation of the SACOE are:
FigureFigureFigureFigure 295295295295 –––– Solution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture Principles
These principles are:
• SimplificationSimplificationSimplificationSimplification – Eliminate unnecessary complexity
• StandardisationStandardisationStandardisationStandardisation – Define and adhere to standards and research and adopt proven practices that work for other
organisations
• ConsolidationConsolidationConsolidationConsolidation – Reduce the number of individual solution technologies and platforms
• Value for MoneyValue for MoneyValue for MoneyValue for Money – Ensure that the solution architecture function delivers business value
• Operational ExcellenceOperational ExcellenceOperational ExcellenceOperational Excellence – Deliver consistent high-quality service
• IntegrationIntegrationIntegrationIntegration – Ensure solutions and their components and operations integrate and interoperate
• SegmentationSegmentationSegmentationSegmentation – Create standard, reusable components
Much is made of maturity models and their ability to assess the experience and development of a function or practices.
Maturity models do not measure outputs, deliverables, achievements, value realised, outcomes generated or influenced. The
Introduction to Solution Architecture
Page 493 of 538
maturity model can be regarded as an indirect proxy for these results as the underlying function or practice has to be mature
to attain these or there is a correlation between maturity and achievement. However maturity and value are not identical.
Most maturity models lack rigour. There is little of any formal research into the assignment of maturity levels and the
correlation of that level to value and benefits achieved.
The following illustrates a simple example of a possible solution architecture maturity model:
FigureFigureFigureFigure 296296296296 –––– Possible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity Model
The levels and attributes of this informal maturity model are:
Maturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity Level CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
InitialInitialInitialInitial • Informal, inconsistent approach to solution architecture and solution design
• No functioning solution architecture function with standards
• Solution architecture operations siloed and not part of overall solution delivery
Documented andDocumented andDocumented andDocumented and
RepeatableRepeatableRepeatableRepeatable
• Solution architecture artefact standards in place and in use
• Business engagement process in place and in use
• Solution artefact quality control in place
Defined andDefined andDefined andDefined and
IntegratedIntegratedIntegratedIntegrated
• Solution architecture team structure defined and in use
• Solution architect training programme defined and in use
• Solution architect capability model defined and in use
• Business engagement standards and approaches defined and in use
• Demand management and capacity planning processes implemented
• Solution architecture involved throughout solution implementation and transition to
operations
Managed andManaged andManaged andManaged and • SACOE operational
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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Maturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity Level CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
StrategicStrategicStrategicStrategic • Value management process operational
• Appropriate tools and methodologies in place and in use
OptimisedOptimisedOptimisedOptimised • Continuous assessment and improvement
TableTableTableTable 107107107107 –––– Possible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity Model
There are other proven knowledge and skills frameworks that can be applied to both assess the current state of solution
architecture within the organisation. The following looks at two of these:
1. Bloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge – the describes an approach the acquisition of knowledge across different types of
knowledge and how this could be used to both measure and improve the solution architecture function
2. Skills Framework forSkills Framework forSkills Framework forSkills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA) – this contain role definitions and skill levels and characteristics for
different levels of solution architect roles
The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge63636363
defines six levels of knowledge and its use:
1. Remember
a. Recognising
b. Recalling
2. Understand
a. Interpreting
b. Exemplifying
c. Classifying
d. Summarising
e. Inferring
f. Comparing
g. Explaining
3. Apply
a. Executing
b. Implementing
4. Analyse
a. Differentiating
b. Organising
c. Attributing
5. Evaluate
a. Checking
b. Critiquing
6. Create
a. Generating
b. Planning
c. Producing
across four types of knowledge:
1. Factual Knowledge
a. Knowledge of terminology
b. Knowledge of specific details and elements
2. Conceptual Knowledge
a. Knowledge of classifications and categories
63
This refers to the knowledge model defined in A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy of
educational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin S. ISBN 0321084055. Information on this
knowledge model is widely available. For an example, see:
https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/
Introduction to Solution Architecture
Page 495 of 538
b. Knowledge of principles and generalisations
c. Knowledge of theories, models, and structures
3. Procedural Knowledge
a. Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms
b. Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods
c. Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures
4. Metacognitive Knowledge
a. Strategic knowledge
b. Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge
c. Self-knowledge
While Bloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge is designed for use in the area of education, it can be more widely applied. It is
underpinned by substantial academic research.
This results in a 24-cell knowledge application process and knowledge type matrix.
Knowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application Process
Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type RememberRememberRememberRemember UnderstandUnderstandUnderstandUnderstand ApplyApplyApplyApply ApplyApplyApplyApply EvaluateEvaluateEvaluateEvaluate CreateCreateCreateCreate
Factual Knowledge
Conceptual Knowledge
Procedural Knowledge
Metacognitive Knowledge
TableTableTableTable 108108108108 –––– Knowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application Classification
This framework could be adapted to assess the state of the solution architecture function and of individual team members.
The four knowledge types as applied to solution architecture could be as follows:
Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type Solution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture Individual
KnoKnoKnoKnowledgewledgewledgewledge
Solution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture Function
KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge
Factual Knowledge • Basic knowledge of solution design and
its use
• Knowledge of information technology
application and infrastructural
components
• Basic knowledge of solution design
artefacts
• Basic solution architecture function
knowledge with Informal approach to
solution architecture and solution
design
• Basic knowledge of wider information
technology and business context of
solution design
Conceptual Knowledge • Knowledge of solution design in the
wider context of business requirements
and solution implementation and
operation
• Knowledge of solution usability
• Knowledge management and reuse
• Basic knowledge of business
engagement process
• Knowledge of business strategy solution
and solution implementation and
operation contexts
• Knowledge of solution quality control
• Knowledge of function costs
Procedural Knowledge • Knowledge of business engagement
processes, tools, techniques and
methodologies
• Knowledge of benefits identification and
validation
• Basic knowledge of business value of
solutions
• Knowledge of function and team
capabilities
• Knowledge of business engagement
processes, tools, techniques and
methodologies
• Knowledge of resource demand
management and capacity planning
processes
• Knowledge of relationship management
Metacognitive Knowledge • Knowledge of business and information • Knowledge of continuous assessment
Introduction to Solution Architecture
Page 496 of 538
Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type Solution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture Individual
KnoKnoKnoKnowledgewledgewledgewledge
Solution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture Function
KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge
technology strategy
• Knowledge of development of
methodologies and approaches
• Knowledge of value measurement
and improvement
• Knowledge of business value process
and its measurement
TableTableTableTable 109109109109 –––– Knowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution Architecture
This approach could be used to assess the current state of knowledge within the solution architecture team and to identify
gaps that need to be filled.
One other skills framework that could be adapted to assess the state of the solution architecture function and of individual
team members and to develop a plan to address any gaps is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)64646464
. This is
an information technology specific skills and competency framework. It aims to describe the skills and competencies required
by information technology professionals across a variety of roles in the areas of:
• Strategy and architecture
• Change and transformation
• Development and implementation
• Delivery and operation
• Skills and quality
• Relationships and engagement
The SFIA is free to use for individual organisations. It is a very broad model and so is not very detailed for specific skills.
The model can be used in a number of organisational roles at various levels. At the organisation level, it can be used to
determine current and future strategic capability planning and for aligning organisational capabilities to information
technology and business strategies.
At the business function level, it can be used for measuring current skill levels and planning for future capacity requirements,
creating role specifications, managing and deploying resources and identifying risks related to teams and developing people
management plans.
The model has seven skill levels:
1. Follow
2. Assist
3. Apply
4. Enable
5. Ensure, Advise
6. Initiate, Influence
7. Set Strategy, Inspire, Mobilise
There are five attributes used to classify each skill levels:
1. Autonomy
2. Influence
3. Complexity
4. Knowledge
5. Business Skills
This results in a 35-cell matrix of attributes at various skill levels.
64
See:
http://www.sfia-online.org/
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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AttributesAttributesAttributesAttributes
SkillSkillSkillSkill LLLLevelevelevelevel AutonomyAutonomyAutonomyAutonomy InfluenceInfluenceInfluenceInfluence ComplexityComplexityComplexityComplexity KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge Business SkillsBusiness SkillsBusiness SkillsBusiness Skills
1.1.1.1. FollowFollowFollowFollow
2.2.2.2. AssistAssistAssistAssist
3.3.3.3. ApplyApplyApplyApply
4.4.4.4. EnableEnableEnableEnable
5.5.5.5. Ensure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, Advise
6.6.6.6. Initiate, InfluenceInitiate, InfluenceInitiate, InfluenceInitiate, Influence
7.7.7.7. Set Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, Mobilise
TableTableTableTable 110110110110 –––– Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIASFIASFIASFIA)))) Skill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute Matrix
The skills contained in the SFIA model are:
FigureFigureFigureFigure 297297297297 –––– Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIASFIASFIASFIA)))) Skills CateSkills CateSkills CateSkills Categories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skills
These skills categories and individual skills are:
Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill
Strategy And Architecture Information Strategy Enterprise IT Governance
Strategic Planning
Information Governance
Information Systems Coordination
Information Security
Information Assurance
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill
Analytics
Data Visualisation
Information Content Publishing
Advice And Guidance Consultancy
Specialist Advice
Business Strategy And Planning Demand Management
IT Management
Financial Management
Innovation
Research
Business Process Improvement
Knowledge Management
Enterprise And Business Architecture
Business Risk Management
Sustainability
Technical Strategy And Planning Emerging Technology Monitoring
Continuity Management
Network Planning
Solution Architecture
Data Management
Methods And Tools
Change And Transformation Business Change Implementation Portfolio Management
Programme Management
Project Management
Portfolio, Programme And Project Support
Business Change Management Business Analysis
Business Modelling
Requirements Definition And Management
Organisational Capability Development
Organisation Design And Implementation
Change Implementation Planning And
Management
Business Process Testing
Benefits Management
Development And
Implementation
Systems Development Systems Development Management
Systems Design
Software Design
Programming/Software Development
Real-Time/Embedded Systems Development
Animation Development
Data Modelling And Design
Database Design
Network Design
Testing
Safety Engineering
Information Content Authoring
User Experience User Research
User Experience Analysis
User Experience Design
User Experience Evaluation
Installation And Integration Systems Integration And Build
Porting/Software Configuration
Hardware Design
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill
Systems Installation/Decommissioning
Delivery And Operation Service Design Availability Management
Service Level Management
Service Transition Service Acceptance
Configuration Management
Asset Management
Change Management
Release And Deployment
Service Operation System Software
Capacity Management
Security Administration
Penetration Testing
Radio Frequency Engineering
Application Support
IT Infrastructure
Database Administration
Storage Management
Network Support
Problem Management
Incident Management
Facilities Management
Skills And Quality Skill Management Learning And Development Management
Competency Assessment
Learning Design And Development
Learning Delivery
Teaching And Subject Formation
People Management Performance Management
Resourcing
Professional Development
Quality And Conformance Quality Management
Quality Assurance
Measurement
Conformance Review
Safety Assessment
Digital Forensics
Relationships And Engagement Stakeholder Management Sourcing
Supplier Management
Contract Management
Relationship Management
Customer Service Support
Sales And Marketing Marketing
Selling
Sales Support
Product Management
TableTableTableTable 111111111111 –––– SFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual Skills
Within the SFIA the Solution ArchitectureSolution ArchitectureSolution ArchitectureSolution Architecture skill belongs in the Technical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And Planning sub-category within the
Strategy And ArchitectureStrategy And ArchitectureStrategy And ArchitectureStrategy And Architecture category. So the SFIA framework takes quite a narrow view of solution architecture rather than
the broader view this book advocates.
It assigns skill levels 4 to 6 to solution architecture with level 4 representing the most junior of the solution architect roles and
level 6 representing the most senior in the SFIA skills framework.
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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Skill LevelSkill LevelSkill LevelSkill Level Solution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level Description
4.4.4.4. EnableEnableEnableEnable • Contributes to the development of solution architectures in specific business, infrastructure
or functional areas
• Identifies and evaluates alternative architectures and the trade-offs in cost, performance and
scalability
• Produces specifications of cloud-based or on-premises components, tiers and interfaces, for
translation into detailed designs using selected services and products
• Supports a change programme or project through the preparation of technical plans and
application of design principles that comply with enterprise and solution architecture
standards (including security)
5.5.5.5. Ensure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, Advise • Leads the development of solution architectures in specific business, infrastructure or
functional areas
• Ensures that appropriate tools and methods are available, understood and employed in
architecture development
• Within a change programme, leads the preparation of technical plans and, in liaison with
business assurance and project staff, ensures that appropriate technical resources are made
available
• Provides advice on technical aspects of solution development and integration (including
requests for changes, deviations from specifications, etc.) and ensures that relevant technical
strategies, policies, standards and practices (including security) are applied correctly
6.6.6.6. Initiate,Initiate,Initiate,Initiate,
InfluenceInfluenceInfluenceInfluence
• Leads the development of architectures for complex solutions, ensuring consistency with
specified requirements agreed with both external, and internal customers
• Takes full responsibility for the balance between functional, service quality and systems
management requirements within a significant area of the organisation
• Establishes policy and strategy for the selection of solution architecture components, and co-
ordinates design activities, promoting the discipline to ensure consistency
• Ensures that appropriate standards (corporate, industry, national and international) are
adhered to
• Within a business change programme, manages the target design, policies and standards,
working proactively to maintain a stable, viable architecture and ensure consistency of design
across projects within the programme
TableTableTableTable 112112112112 –––– SFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution Architecture
The characteristics and behaviour of each of the solution architect skill levels is defined in terms of:
• Autonomy
• Influence
• Complexity
• Knowledge
• Business Skills
The following table defines the characteristics of the level 4 or junior solution architect:
AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
Autonomy • Works under general direction within a clear framework of accountability
• Exercises substantial personal responsibility and autonomy Plans own work to meet given
objectives and processes
Influence • Influences customers, suppliers and partners at account level
• May have some responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources
Participates in external activities related to own specialism
• Makes decisions which influence the success of projects and team objectives
• Collaborates regularly with team members, users and customers
• Engages to ensure that user needs are being met throughout
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
Complexity • Work includes a broad range of complex technical or professional activities, in a variety of
contexts
• Investigates, defines and resolves complex issues
Knowledge • Has a thorough understanding of recognised generic industry bodies of knowledge and
specialist bodies of knowledge as necessary
• Has gained a thorough knowledge of the domain of the organisation
• Is able to apply the knowledge effectively in unfamiliar situations and actively maintains own
knowledge and contributes to the development of others
• Rapidly absorbs new information and applies it effectively
• Maintains an awareness of developing practices and their application and takes responsibility
for driving own development
Business Skills • Communicates fluently, orally and in writing, and can present complex information to both
technical and non-technical audiences
• Plans, schedules and monitors work to meet time and quality targets
• Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who share common objectives
• Selects appropriately from applicable standards, methods, tools and applications
• Fully understands the importance of security to own work and the operation of the
organisation
• Seeks specialist security knowledge or advice when required to support own work or work of
immediate colleagues
TableTableTableTable 113113113113 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4
The following table defines the characteristics of the level 5 or mid-range solution architect:
AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
Autonomy • Works under broad direction
• Work is often self-initiated
• Is fully responsible for meeting allocated technical and/or project/supervisory objectives
• Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the assignment of tasks and/or
responsibilities.
Influence • Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers on the contribution of
own specialism
• Builds appropriate and effective business relationships
• Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned work, i.e. results, deadlines and budget
• Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources appropriate to
given assignments
• Leads on user/customer collaboration throughout all stages of work
• Ensures users’ needs are met consistently through each work stage.
Complexity • Performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work
activities
• Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and
often unpredictable range of contexts
• Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational
requirements.
Knowledge • Is fully familiar with recognised industry bodies of knowledge both generic and specific
• Actively seeks out new knowledge for own personal development and the mentoring or
coaching of others
• Develops a wider breadth of knowledge across the industry or business
• Applies knowledge to help to define the standards which others will apply.
Business Skills • Demonstrates leadership
• Communicates effectively, both formally and informally
• Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives
• Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets
Introduction to Solution Architecture
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AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
• Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous operational
improvement
• Takes all requirements into account when making proposals
• Demonstrates creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit
of the customer/stakeholder
• Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own
specialism and can make appropriate choices from alternatives
• Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry
• Takes initiative to keep skills up to date
• Mentors colleagues
• Assesses and evaluates risk.
• Proactively ensures security is appropriately addressed within their area by self and others
• Engages or works with security specialists as necessary
• Contributes to the security culture of the organisation
TableTableTableTable 114114114114 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5
The following table defines the characteristics of the level 6 or senior solution architect:
AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics
Autonomy • Has defined authority and accountability for actions and decisions within a significant area
of work, including technical, financial and quality aspects
• Establishes organisational objectives and assigns responsibilities
Influence • Influences policy and strategy formation. Initiates influential relationships with internal and
external customers, suppliers and partners at senior management level, including industry
leaders
• Makes decisions which impact the work of employing organisations, achievement of
organisational objectives and financial performance
Complexity • Has a broad business understanding and deep understanding of own specialism(s)
• Performs highly complex work activities covering technical, financial and quality aspects.
Contributes to the implementation of policy and strategy
• Creatively applies a wide range of technical and/or management principles.
Knowledge • Promotes the application of generic and specific bodies of knowledge in own organisation
• Has developed business knowledge of the activities and practices of own organisation and
those of suppliers, partners, competitors and clients.
Business Skills • Demonstrates clear leadership
• Communicates effectively at all levels to both technical and non-technical audiences
• Understands the implications of new technologies
• Understands and communicates industry developments, and the role and impact of
technology in the employing organisation
• Absorbs complex information
• Promotes compliance with relevant legislation and the need for services, products and
working practices to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse
abilities
• Takes the initiative to keep both own and colleagues' skills up to date
• Manages and mitigates risk
• Takes a leading role in promoting security throughout own area of responsibilities and
collectively in the organisations
TableTableTableTable 115115115115 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6
The SFIA framework can be adapted for use in measuring the capabilities of individual solution architects and of the wider
solution architecture function.

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Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence

  • 1. Solution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of Excellence Extract from Introduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution ArchitectureIntroduction to Solution Architecture Paperback - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1797567616 Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P2NCFDQ
  • 2. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 490 of 538 8.3.38.3.38.3.38.3.3 Solution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre of Excellence The solution architecture function should aspire to be a Solution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of ExcellenceSolution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (SACOE). This is concerned with developing a mature function that is highly-skilled at solution architecture and design and provides solution and consulting leadership to the organisation. Developing an SACOE requires vision and resources of both the solution architecture function and information technology management. The solution architecture function has the capability to develop both the business insight and solution and technology expertise to act as the business/technology authority and be the bridge between the business and technology domains of the organisation. The function can thus enable the organisation achieve value and consequences such as: • Understand, respond to and where appropriate, anticipate external business changes that will affect the organisation • Enable the organisation to change in response to external demands and trends • Understand the potential of new technology initiatives and capabilities and determine how the organisation can use these to its advantage • Ensure that solutions are aligned to the achievement of the business strategy and objectives • Break the cycle of challenged solution delivery projects • Differentiate the organisation and enable it to achieve operational and competitive advantage • Ensure that value flows through the organisation to the consumer Implementing an SACOE requires: • A solution architecture function structure along the lines of that described in section 8.3.2 on page 487 • A solution architect capability model such as that described in section 8.2 on page 470 to measure the capabilities of the team and to create training and development plans • A plan for its implementation and operation and the ongoing measurement of its functioning The purpose of the SACOE is to deliver value to the organisation, both to the information technology function and to the wider business. Value is derived from the successful delivery of solution architecture services and the impact they have on business operation in terms of greater solution delivery success. But the delivery of solution architecture services in themselves is not a measure of value generated. Services are a necessary but not a sufficient measure of value. Measurements of solution architecture value cannot not be about just the number of engagements completed and the solution designs created. However, to be held accountable and responsible for the creation of business value, the SACOE must have the authority to create that value. Some of the issues and limitations around the design of the solution architecture function are discussed in section 8.3.4 on page 503. The issue of solution failure is examined in section 3.1 on page 58. The solution architecture value proposition has to work and continue to work. The SACOE is clearly not responsible for generating all the value that the business derives from the solution. The value is generated by the entire delivery team, from the initial business stakeholder involvement to the business using the solution and being supported and operated by the service management and support function and the solution being maintained by the information technology function. The functions of the SACOE should be:
  • 3. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 491 of 538 FigureFigureFigureFigure 294294294294 –––– Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (Solution Architecture Centre Of Excellence (SACOESACOESACOESACOE)))) FunctionsFunctionsFunctionsFunctions These functions are listed in the table below. FunctionFunctionFunctionFunction ElementsElementsElementsElements Vision andVision andVision andVision and StrategyStrategyStrategyStrategy • Vision for Solution Architecture within the Organisation • Business Strategy, Information Technology Strategy and Solution Architecture Strategy • Solution Architecture Principles • Leadership • Organisation Structure and Design • Business Engagement Models • Value Measurement • Linkage to Architecture Disciplines • Linkage to Business Analysis and Business Process Analysis • Linkage to Solution Implementation and Delivery • Linkage to Service Management • Supplier Management People AssetPeople AssetPeople AssetPeople Asset ManagementManagementManagementManagement • Capability Model and Assessments • Development and Training • Mentoring • Career Development and Progression • Talent Management • Succession Planning • Capacity Planning and Demand Management • Staff Augmentation ServicesServicesServicesServices • Business Engagement Types • Consulting Services • Solution Design • Business Case Development • Benefits Management • Solution Implementation and Operation Support
  • 4. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 492 of 538 FunctionFunctionFunctionFunction ElementsElementsElementsElements • Technology Evaluation and Recommendation • Research and Development • Innovation Governance and QualityGovernance and QualityGovernance and QualityGovernance and Quality • Quality Assurance and Control • Knowledge Management • Artefact Development and Maintenance • Value Measurement • Innovation and Research Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools,Methodologies, Tools, StandardsStandardsStandardsStandards • Tool Selection and Use • Methodology Development and Use • Standards Selection/Development and Use TableTableTableTable 106106106106 –––– SACOE FunctionsSACOE FunctionsSACOE FunctionsSACOE Functions The principles that underpin the operation of the SACOE are: FigureFigureFigureFigure 295295295295 –––– Solution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture PrinciplesSolution Architecture Principles These principles are: • SimplificationSimplificationSimplificationSimplification – Eliminate unnecessary complexity • StandardisationStandardisationStandardisationStandardisation – Define and adhere to standards and research and adopt proven practices that work for other organisations • ConsolidationConsolidationConsolidationConsolidation – Reduce the number of individual solution technologies and platforms • Value for MoneyValue for MoneyValue for MoneyValue for Money – Ensure that the solution architecture function delivers business value • Operational ExcellenceOperational ExcellenceOperational ExcellenceOperational Excellence – Deliver consistent high-quality service • IntegrationIntegrationIntegrationIntegration – Ensure solutions and their components and operations integrate and interoperate • SegmentationSegmentationSegmentationSegmentation – Create standard, reusable components Much is made of maturity models and their ability to assess the experience and development of a function or practices. Maturity models do not measure outputs, deliverables, achievements, value realised, outcomes generated or influenced. The
  • 5. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 493 of 538 maturity model can be regarded as an indirect proxy for these results as the underlying function or practice has to be mature to attain these or there is a correlation between maturity and achievement. However maturity and value are not identical. Most maturity models lack rigour. There is little of any formal research into the assignment of maturity levels and the correlation of that level to value and benefits achieved. The following illustrates a simple example of a possible solution architecture maturity model: FigureFigureFigureFigure 296296296296 –––– Possible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity Model The levels and attributes of this informal maturity model are: Maturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity Level CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics InitialInitialInitialInitial • Informal, inconsistent approach to solution architecture and solution design • No functioning solution architecture function with standards • Solution architecture operations siloed and not part of overall solution delivery Documented andDocumented andDocumented andDocumented and RepeatableRepeatableRepeatableRepeatable • Solution architecture artefact standards in place and in use • Business engagement process in place and in use • Solution artefact quality control in place Defined andDefined andDefined andDefined and IntegratedIntegratedIntegratedIntegrated • Solution architecture team structure defined and in use • Solution architect training programme defined and in use • Solution architect capability model defined and in use • Business engagement standards and approaches defined and in use • Demand management and capacity planning processes implemented • Solution architecture involved throughout solution implementation and transition to operations Managed andManaged andManaged andManaged and • SACOE operational
  • 6. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 494 of 538 Maturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity LevelMaturity Level CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics StrategicStrategicStrategicStrategic • Value management process operational • Appropriate tools and methodologies in place and in use OptimisedOptimisedOptimisedOptimised • Continuous assessment and improvement TableTableTableTable 107107107107 –––– Possible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity ModelPossible Solution Architecture Maturity Model There are other proven knowledge and skills frameworks that can be applied to both assess the current state of solution architecture within the organisation. The following looks at two of these: 1. Bloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge – the describes an approach the acquisition of knowledge across different types of knowledge and how this could be used to both measure and improve the solution architecture function 2. Skills Framework forSkills Framework forSkills Framework forSkills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA)the Information Age (SFIA) – this contain role definitions and skill levels and characteristics for different levels of solution architect roles The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of KnowledgeBloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge63636363 defines six levels of knowledge and its use: 1. Remember a. Recognising b. Recalling 2. Understand a. Interpreting b. Exemplifying c. Classifying d. Summarising e. Inferring f. Comparing g. Explaining 3. Apply a. Executing b. Implementing 4. Analyse a. Differentiating b. Organising c. Attributing 5. Evaluate a. Checking b. Critiquing 6. Create a. Generating b. Planning c. Producing across four types of knowledge: 1. Factual Knowledge a. Knowledge of terminology b. Knowledge of specific details and elements 2. Conceptual Knowledge a. Knowledge of classifications and categories 63 This refers to the knowledge model defined in A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy ofA taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin Seducational objectives Anderson, Lorin W.; Krathwohl, David R.; Bloom, Benjamin S. ISBN 0321084055. Information on this knowledge model is widely available. For an example, see: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/
  • 7. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 495 of 538 b. Knowledge of principles and generalisations c. Knowledge of theories, models, and structures 3. Procedural Knowledge a. Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms b. Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods c. Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures 4. Metacognitive Knowledge a. Strategic knowledge b. Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge c. Self-knowledge While Bloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge is designed for use in the area of education, it can be more widely applied. It is underpinned by substantial academic research. This results in a 24-cell knowledge application process and knowledge type matrix. Knowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application ProcessKnowledge Application Process Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type RememberRememberRememberRemember UnderstandUnderstandUnderstandUnderstand ApplyApplyApplyApply ApplyApplyApplyApply EvaluateEvaluateEvaluateEvaluate CreateCreateCreateCreate Factual Knowledge Conceptual Knowledge Procedural Knowledge Metacognitive Knowledge TableTableTableTable 108108108108 –––– Knowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application ClassificationKnowledge Type and Application Classification This framework could be adapted to assess the state of the solution architecture function and of individual team members. The four knowledge types as applied to solution architecture could be as follows: Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type Solution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture Individual KnoKnoKnoKnowledgewledgewledgewledge Solution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture Function KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge Factual Knowledge • Basic knowledge of solution design and its use • Knowledge of information technology application and infrastructural components • Basic knowledge of solution design artefacts • Basic solution architecture function knowledge with Informal approach to solution architecture and solution design • Basic knowledge of wider information technology and business context of solution design Conceptual Knowledge • Knowledge of solution design in the wider context of business requirements and solution implementation and operation • Knowledge of solution usability • Knowledge management and reuse • Basic knowledge of business engagement process • Knowledge of business strategy solution and solution implementation and operation contexts • Knowledge of solution quality control • Knowledge of function costs Procedural Knowledge • Knowledge of business engagement processes, tools, techniques and methodologies • Knowledge of benefits identification and validation • Basic knowledge of business value of solutions • Knowledge of function and team capabilities • Knowledge of business engagement processes, tools, techniques and methodologies • Knowledge of resource demand management and capacity planning processes • Knowledge of relationship management Metacognitive Knowledge • Knowledge of business and information • Knowledge of continuous assessment
  • 8. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 496 of 538 Knowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge TypeKnowledge Type Solution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture IndividualSolution Architecture Individual KnoKnoKnoKnowledgewledgewledgewledge Solution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture FunctionSolution Architecture Function KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge technology strategy • Knowledge of development of methodologies and approaches • Knowledge of value measurement and improvement • Knowledge of business value process and its measurement TableTableTableTable 109109109109 –––– Knowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution ArchitectureKnowledge Types Applied to Solution Architecture This approach could be used to assess the current state of knowledge within the solution architecture team and to identify gaps that need to be filled. One other skills framework that could be adapted to assess the state of the solution architecture function and of individual team members and to develop a plan to address any gaps is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)64646464 . This is an information technology specific skills and competency framework. It aims to describe the skills and competencies required by information technology professionals across a variety of roles in the areas of: • Strategy and architecture • Change and transformation • Development and implementation • Delivery and operation • Skills and quality • Relationships and engagement The SFIA is free to use for individual organisations. It is a very broad model and so is not very detailed for specific skills. The model can be used in a number of organisational roles at various levels. At the organisation level, it can be used to determine current and future strategic capability planning and for aligning organisational capabilities to information technology and business strategies. At the business function level, it can be used for measuring current skill levels and planning for future capacity requirements, creating role specifications, managing and deploying resources and identifying risks related to teams and developing people management plans. The model has seven skill levels: 1. Follow 2. Assist 3. Apply 4. Enable 5. Ensure, Advise 6. Initiate, Influence 7. Set Strategy, Inspire, Mobilise There are five attributes used to classify each skill levels: 1. Autonomy 2. Influence 3. Complexity 4. Knowledge 5. Business Skills This results in a 35-cell matrix of attributes at various skill levels. 64 See: http://www.sfia-online.org/
  • 9. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 497 of 538 AttributesAttributesAttributesAttributes SkillSkillSkillSkill LLLLevelevelevelevel AutonomyAutonomyAutonomyAutonomy InfluenceInfluenceInfluenceInfluence ComplexityComplexityComplexityComplexity KnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledgeKnowledge Business SkillsBusiness SkillsBusiness SkillsBusiness Skills 1.1.1.1. FollowFollowFollowFollow 2.2.2.2. AssistAssistAssistAssist 3.3.3.3. ApplyApplyApplyApply 4.4.4.4. EnableEnableEnableEnable 5.5.5.5. Ensure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, Advise 6.6.6.6. Initiate, InfluenceInitiate, InfluenceInitiate, InfluenceInitiate, Influence 7.7.7.7. Set Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, MobiliseSet Strategy, Inspire, Mobilise TableTableTableTable 110110110110 –––– Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIASFIASFIASFIA)))) Skill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute MatrixSkill Level and Attribute Matrix The skills contained in the SFIA model are: FigureFigureFigureFigure 297297297297 –––– Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIASFIASFIASFIA)))) Skills CateSkills CateSkills CateSkills Categories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skillsgories and Individual Skills These skills categories and individual skills are: Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill Strategy And Architecture Information Strategy Enterprise IT Governance Strategic Planning Information Governance Information Systems Coordination Information Security Information Assurance
  • 10. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 498 of 538 Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill Analytics Data Visualisation Information Content Publishing Advice And Guidance Consultancy Specialist Advice Business Strategy And Planning Demand Management IT Management Financial Management Innovation Research Business Process Improvement Knowledge Management Enterprise And Business Architecture Business Risk Management Sustainability Technical Strategy And Planning Emerging Technology Monitoring Continuity Management Network Planning Solution Architecture Data Management Methods And Tools Change And Transformation Business Change Implementation Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management Portfolio, Programme And Project Support Business Change Management Business Analysis Business Modelling Requirements Definition And Management Organisational Capability Development Organisation Design And Implementation Change Implementation Planning And Management Business Process Testing Benefits Management Development And Implementation Systems Development Systems Development Management Systems Design Software Design Programming/Software Development Real-Time/Embedded Systems Development Animation Development Data Modelling And Design Database Design Network Design Testing Safety Engineering Information Content Authoring User Experience User Research User Experience Analysis User Experience Design User Experience Evaluation Installation And Integration Systems Integration And Build Porting/Software Configuration Hardware Design
  • 11. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 499 of 538 Skill CategorySkill CategorySkill CategorySkill Category Skill SubSkill SubSkill SubSkill Sub----CategoryCategoryCategoryCategory SkillSkillSkillSkill Systems Installation/Decommissioning Delivery And Operation Service Design Availability Management Service Level Management Service Transition Service Acceptance Configuration Management Asset Management Change Management Release And Deployment Service Operation System Software Capacity Management Security Administration Penetration Testing Radio Frequency Engineering Application Support IT Infrastructure Database Administration Storage Management Network Support Problem Management Incident Management Facilities Management Skills And Quality Skill Management Learning And Development Management Competency Assessment Learning Design And Development Learning Delivery Teaching And Subject Formation People Management Performance Management Resourcing Professional Development Quality And Conformance Quality Management Quality Assurance Measurement Conformance Review Safety Assessment Digital Forensics Relationships And Engagement Stakeholder Management Sourcing Supplier Management Contract Management Relationship Management Customer Service Support Sales And Marketing Marketing Selling Sales Support Product Management TableTableTableTable 111111111111 –––– SFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual SkillsSFIA Skills Categories and Individual Skills Within the SFIA the Solution ArchitectureSolution ArchitectureSolution ArchitectureSolution Architecture skill belongs in the Technical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And PlanningTechnical Strategy And Planning sub-category within the Strategy And ArchitectureStrategy And ArchitectureStrategy And ArchitectureStrategy And Architecture category. So the SFIA framework takes quite a narrow view of solution architecture rather than the broader view this book advocates. It assigns skill levels 4 to 6 to solution architecture with level 4 representing the most junior of the solution architect roles and level 6 representing the most senior in the SFIA skills framework.
  • 12. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 500 of 538 Skill LevelSkill LevelSkill LevelSkill Level Solution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level DescriptionSolution Architecture Skill Level Description 4.4.4.4. EnableEnableEnableEnable • Contributes to the development of solution architectures in specific business, infrastructure or functional areas • Identifies and evaluates alternative architectures and the trade-offs in cost, performance and scalability • Produces specifications of cloud-based or on-premises components, tiers and interfaces, for translation into detailed designs using selected services and products • Supports a change programme or project through the preparation of technical plans and application of design principles that comply with enterprise and solution architecture standards (including security) 5.5.5.5. Ensure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, AdviseEnsure, Advise • Leads the development of solution architectures in specific business, infrastructure or functional areas • Ensures that appropriate tools and methods are available, understood and employed in architecture development • Within a change programme, leads the preparation of technical plans and, in liaison with business assurance and project staff, ensures that appropriate technical resources are made available • Provides advice on technical aspects of solution development and integration (including requests for changes, deviations from specifications, etc.) and ensures that relevant technical strategies, policies, standards and practices (including security) are applied correctly 6.6.6.6. Initiate,Initiate,Initiate,Initiate, InfluenceInfluenceInfluenceInfluence • Leads the development of architectures for complex solutions, ensuring consistency with specified requirements agreed with both external, and internal customers • Takes full responsibility for the balance between functional, service quality and systems management requirements within a significant area of the organisation • Establishes policy and strategy for the selection of solution architecture components, and co- ordinates design activities, promoting the discipline to ensure consistency • Ensures that appropriate standards (corporate, industry, national and international) are adhered to • Within a business change programme, manages the target design, policies and standards, working proactively to maintain a stable, viable architecture and ensure consistency of design across projects within the programme TableTableTableTable 112112112112 –––– SFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution ArchitectureSFIA Skill Levels 4 to 6 Specification for Solution Architecture The characteristics and behaviour of each of the solution architect skill levels is defined in terms of: • Autonomy • Influence • Complexity • Knowledge • Business Skills The following table defines the characteristics of the level 4 or junior solution architect: AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics Autonomy • Works under general direction within a clear framework of accountability • Exercises substantial personal responsibility and autonomy Plans own work to meet given objectives and processes Influence • Influences customers, suppliers and partners at account level • May have some responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources Participates in external activities related to own specialism • Makes decisions which influence the success of projects and team objectives • Collaborates regularly with team members, users and customers • Engages to ensure that user needs are being met throughout
  • 13. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 501 of 538 AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics Complexity • Work includes a broad range of complex technical or professional activities, in a variety of contexts • Investigates, defines and resolves complex issues Knowledge • Has a thorough understanding of recognised generic industry bodies of knowledge and specialist bodies of knowledge as necessary • Has gained a thorough knowledge of the domain of the organisation • Is able to apply the knowledge effectively in unfamiliar situations and actively maintains own knowledge and contributes to the development of others • Rapidly absorbs new information and applies it effectively • Maintains an awareness of developing practices and their application and takes responsibility for driving own development Business Skills • Communicates fluently, orally and in writing, and can present complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences • Plans, schedules and monitors work to meet time and quality targets • Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who share common objectives • Selects appropriately from applicable standards, methods, tools and applications • Fully understands the importance of security to own work and the operation of the organisation • Seeks specialist security knowledge or advice when required to support own work or work of immediate colleagues TableTableTableTable 113113113113 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 4 The following table defines the characteristics of the level 5 or mid-range solution architect: AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics Autonomy • Works under broad direction • Work is often self-initiated • Is fully responsible for meeting allocated technical and/or project/supervisory objectives • Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the assignment of tasks and/or responsibilities. Influence • Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers on the contribution of own specialism • Builds appropriate and effective business relationships • Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned work, i.e. results, deadlines and budget • Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources appropriate to given assignments • Leads on user/customer collaboration throughout all stages of work • Ensures users’ needs are met consistently through each work stage. Complexity • Performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work activities • Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts • Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements. Knowledge • Is fully familiar with recognised industry bodies of knowledge both generic and specific • Actively seeks out new knowledge for own personal development and the mentoring or coaching of others • Develops a wider breadth of knowledge across the industry or business • Applies knowledge to help to define the standards which others will apply. Business Skills • Demonstrates leadership • Communicates effectively, both formally and informally • Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives • Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets
  • 14. Introduction to Solution Architecture Page 502 of 538 AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics • Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous operational improvement • Takes all requirements into account when making proposals • Demonstrates creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder • Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make appropriate choices from alternatives • Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry • Takes initiative to keep skills up to date • Mentors colleagues • Assesses and evaluates risk. • Proactively ensures security is appropriately addressed within their area by self and others • Engages or works with security specialists as necessary • Contributes to the security culture of the organisation TableTableTableTable 114114114114 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 5 The following table defines the characteristics of the level 6 or senior solution architect: AttributeAttributeAttributeAttribute CharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristicsCharacteristics Autonomy • Has defined authority and accountability for actions and decisions within a significant area of work, including technical, financial and quality aspects • Establishes organisational objectives and assigns responsibilities Influence • Influences policy and strategy formation. Initiates influential relationships with internal and external customers, suppliers and partners at senior management level, including industry leaders • Makes decisions which impact the work of employing organisations, achievement of organisational objectives and financial performance Complexity • Has a broad business understanding and deep understanding of own specialism(s) • Performs highly complex work activities covering technical, financial and quality aspects. Contributes to the implementation of policy and strategy • Creatively applies a wide range of technical and/or management principles. Knowledge • Promotes the application of generic and specific bodies of knowledge in own organisation • Has developed business knowledge of the activities and practices of own organisation and those of suppliers, partners, competitors and clients. Business Skills • Demonstrates clear leadership • Communicates effectively at all levels to both technical and non-technical audiences • Understands the implications of new technologies • Understands and communicates industry developments, and the role and impact of technology in the employing organisation • Absorbs complex information • Promotes compliance with relevant legislation and the need for services, products and working practices to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities • Takes the initiative to keep both own and colleagues' skills up to date • Manages and mitigates risk • Takes a leading role in promoting security throughout own area of responsibilities and collectively in the organisations TableTableTableTable 115115115115 –––– SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6SFIA Skill Attributes for Solution Architecture Skill Level 6 The SFIA framework can be adapted for use in measuring the capabilities of individual solution architects and of the wider solution architecture function.