The Business Architect's Job Family

by Jeff Scott, on Jan 15, 2016 4:13:35 PM

BusArchProfile.pngI recently interviewed a dozen highly successful business architects. One topic we discussed was the business architect’s job family. What I learned surprised me. Few business architecture practices have clearly defined roles for team members nor have they defined the business architecture job family. The primary issue seems to be that Human Resources hasn’t caught up with the business architecture trend and isn’t providing guidance. Here is my take on the various roles:

Business Architecture Manager (also known as: Enterprise Business Architecture Lead, Chief Business Architect, Director of Enterprise Business Architecture, Head of Business Architecture, Business Architecture Lead) Role: To lead and manage the business architecture team and/or the overall business architecture effort across business units and departments. Responsible for the overall success of the business architecture program.

Consulting Business Architect (also known as: Principal Business Architect, Business Architecture Executive Consultant) Role: The senior most level of working business architect typically works directly with senior executives, corporate strategists, and business unit heads during strategy development and throughout the planning lifecycle. Deals primarily with strategy and organizational transformation helping to clarify strategic intent, identify opportunities, and encourage cross-organizational cooperation. Leverages the more detailed work produced by other architects.

Senior Business Architect (also known as: Senior Enterprise Business Architect, Strategic Business Architect) Role: Works with consulting business architects to package corporate strategy and goals into a form consumable by the rest of the organization. Applies business architecture artifacts to solve complex business problems and develop strategic plans. Often helps support organizations and departments develop strategic plans.

Business Architect (also known as: Enterprise Business Architect – specialized titles might be Business Process Architect, IT Business Architect, Portfolio Business Architect) Role: Create and develop core business architecture artifacts such as capability models, value streams, and strategy maps. Business architects typically work at the LOB, business unit, and department level translating strategy into action plans and identifying opportunities for organizational improvement. 

Associate Business Architect (also known as: Junior Business Architect) Role: Typically works under the direction of more senior business architects locating, gathering, organizing, and managing information such as application portfolios, organizational data, and project details used in decision making. Creates final deliverables from information gathered by more senior architects.

The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________

Specific titles and role descriptions vary considerably across business architecture organizations. HR’s lack of interest in creating clear and meaningful job families is making it difficult to hire and organize business architecture functions.


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