A Typical Architect?
There is perhaps no such thing as a typical architect, although there are some themes that we all have in common, and I am sure one of those themes is a passion to make architecture count.
With this in mind, we decided to put a simple tool together to quickly calibrate a typical architecture practice or discipline in an organisation. No matter how good any given architect or team is, there can always be blind spots, or areas that simply do not get attention for whatever reason.
We focused on what we believe are six organisational or methodological neutral dimensions that capture the essence of architecture. These are: –
- Demand management – how well are resources and skills are balanced against the organisational need;
- Influence – how are architects affecting the actions and choices of key stakeholders in the organisation;
- Engagement – how are architects and architecture activity directly affecting the transformation and development activity in the organisation;
- Outcomes – is architecture and are architects adding demonstrable and measurable value in the organisation;
- Leadership – do architectural principles shape the leadership of the organisation and the architecture activity; and
- Foundation – is there a strong set of methods and tools deployed in the organisation.
The tool itself is straightforward to use, and a summary diagnostic heatmap is created immediately. A more comprehensive report is sent directly to your inbox.
To date, the range of overall scores has varied from a low of 30% with a high of 84%.
The mean score is 48% with some gentle patterns emerging across the six dimensions.
- Demand Management 44%
- Influence 57%
- Engagement 57%
- Outcomes 47%
- Leadership 48%
- Foundation 48%
What might this mean?
First of all, across the organisations assessed to date, there is still some way to go in maturing the architecture practice across all six dimensions. The overall average scores are lower than we had expected.
Secondly, Influence and Engagement seem to stand out as the more advanced areas compared to the others. Perhaps this reflects the trait that architects are usually more articulate than most on topics related to technology and technology strategy.
Finally, whilst all of the dimensions look like this could be significantly improved, the one that stands out to me is Outcomes. If architecture and architects cannot demonstrate value, the profession will be eroded and lose its place in a world that has been more focussed on engineers more than architects in recent years.
To find out where you fit you can get your personalised Diagnostic Heatmap HERE.