How much data do you need to collect when initiating your Enterprise Architecture portfolio? How do you prioritize and know what information is relevant? How can you impress your stakeholders and gain their trust? Read further to find out.
When you are just starting out on your Enterprise Architecture (EA) journey, it is absolutely crucial to be 100% aligned with your stakeholders. Understand where their key focus is and what information you need to bring in and put your architectural focus there.
Before putting data into your EA portfolio, make sure you always answer the following:
- What is the problem and value my stakeholders are looking for?
- What data do I need to collect to answer my stakeholder's questions?
- Are we ready to collect the required data as an organization?
- What is the best way to visualize the data so my stakeholders can understand it? (Tip: try Designer.)
Do not collect data just for the sake of doing it. Collect only the necessary data to answer your stakeholder's questions at hand. That should be your primary focus and target. If the data is not directly linked to a key value that you are bringing to your stakeholders, do not waste your time. We can even go further by saying "Collecting data has no value." Watch our 5-minute video about that:
why collecting data has no value
GET YOUR GOVERNANCE RIGHT
Getting your governance right means having the necessary decision-making power.
You need to have an Architectural Governance Group assembled to have this power. This governance group should ideally have representatives from all different interest groups – could be by business unit, country, etc. They are the key decision-making stakeholders that you need to impress to get support and budget.
In an ideal world, the EA Governance Group would have the right to make most decisions. However, this is usually not the case. The Enterprise Architecture team needs to have been there for a while to get such privileges. So what can you do then?
DECISIONS VS. RECOMMENDATIONS
You can make recommendations. If you don't have the necessary decision power, there is nothing wrong with making recommendations. And if your EA Governance Group has representatives from every key interest group, you can meet and make conclusions together. Now, who would say 'No' to that? In this case, all interest groups were represented in the meeting. They all said 'Yes' – so even if someone challenges the given recommendation, you can always say that your EA Governance Group has all aligned on the topic.
Get the right people in your EA Governance Group – they will give you the support you need.
MARKET YOUR SUCCESS
As an architect, you don't always think about this, but marketing your success is absolutely crucial to your day-to-day life. It will bring your architecture practice to another level.
Your job as an architect is to get out there and to promote the value you deliver to your organization and stakeholders. Ideally, your marketing content should be aligned with the current hot topics and strategic goals of your enterprise.
Always work towards a valuable goal for your stakeholders and enterprise.
We know that marketing success internally is very tricky. So consider some external success stories, white papers or awards that you can share internally. This will increase your credibility and drive further buy-in from stakeholders without questioning your team's efforts.
Now it's time to involve your internal Marketing team. Use the internal channels you have: a company Yammer page, a company magazine – these are all tools at your disposal, and you should take advantage of them. With the Marketing team's help, make sure your value is communicated across the company in layman's terms by telling the story from your stakeholders' perspective and not putting yourself in the spotlight. This is very important because it will make them involved, and if you make them look good, they will support you in the long run.
Want to learn more on the topic? Watch our on-demand webinar "The Path to Success on your Enterprise Architecture Journey" below:
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