Classifying the Business Architect

by Jeff Scott, on Dec 7, 2015 9:00:00 AM

BusArchProfile.pngAs a business architecture consultant, I have to have a good understanding of my marketplace to accurately assess the opportunities that come my way. One of the models I use is a business architect segmentation model where I group business architects into various categories based on their business architecture experience and professional orientation. I think this might provide a good recruitment aid for those of you who are seeking additional talent. My six categories are:

Novices – Novices are by far the largest group of business architects, or more accurately, people interested in becoming business architects. Or maybe even more accurately, people interested in learning more about business architecture. Most in this group are not currently practicing business architects but a few are recently hired business architects. The people in this group want to become a business architect or employ business architecture tools and techniques in their current role but have less interest in creating and managing a business architecture practice. Most will never become business architects. 

Explorers – Explorers are interested in business architecture and are widely read but not necessarily currently practicing business architecture. Many have project or initiative level leadership experience. Some want to establish or lead a business architecture practice but most will pick up a technique or two and apply that to current and future roles. Those that don’t go on to be business architects will often become supporters of the function.

Journeymen – Journeymen have some level of business architecture experience but typically as individual contributors. Most want to become master business architects, but like explorers, not necessarily business architecture leaders. A smaller number here become business architecture advocates and go on to establish a business architecture practice.  

Entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurs are those business architecture leaders who are running or participating in a new business architecture practice (new for me is less than two years old). They also might be operating as an individual contributor in an official business architect position. This group is highly skilled and moderately ambitious. 

Sustainers – Sustainers are running or participating in an ongoing business architecture practice that is over two years old or operating as a senior level individual contributor in an official business architect role. The members of this group have established personal credibility, are well versed in business architecture tools and techniques, and are generally highly ambitious. 

Innovators – Innovators are by far the smallest group. There are very, very few of this type of business architect. People in this group see themselves as innovators and change agents first and business architects second. They are often strategists looking for ways to advance their ideas. They typically move beyond basic business architecture techniques to apply business architecture concepts in new ways. This group wants to play a significant role in their organization’s strategy development and change initiatives and sees business architecture as a platform that will get them there.

The bottom line:____________________________________________________________

Business architects come in many forms. I am sure there are many other ways to segment the business architecture community. If you have a different model post your ideas as a response to this blog or send me an email.



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