LinkedIn: The Nitty Gritty: Can you explain to a CEO what makes an architect different?

<question group="International Association of Software Architects">

The Nitty Gritty: Can you explain to a CEO what makes an architect different?
Well we've been at this for some time and over the last few years have been able to answer this with more and more certainty. However before I post it I want to get some feedback from all of you.

CEO walks in to your office/cube/etc and asks,"I know why I hire good developers/PMs/BAs/IT Ops/etc, so why do I hire architects? What makes them different than other staff? And dont give me any of those mumbo-jumbo technical answers. Just boil it down to one sentence why I should let you keep your high-salary job." What do you say?

Try to answer in one sentence. Try to make sure the answer is VERY clearly differentiated from other roles. For example, "Developers write quality code based on business requirements.", "PMs deliver projects on time and under budget."

...And yes I will post the answer that has come from our research in the next couple of days.


An architect is someone who translates wishes, expectations, and dreams (e.g. survive in this financial crisis) of a client (you, Mr CEO) into a workable plan and guides others (developers/PMs/BAs/IT Ops/etc) in executing that plan.


In my experience, enterprise architects work simultaneously in the following positions :

- Scribe who keeps up to date the documentation about enterprise artefacts and relationship between them.

- Scout who brings new technologies into an enterprise.

- Salesman who finds good arguments for investments in non-obvious improvements.

- Superman who is usually asked for a quick rescue of a rotten IT project by completing during week-end some work to be done during many man-months.

- Sociologist who has to understand concerns and fears of everyone at the enterprise.

- Servant who serves all others at the enterprise.

- Scientist who uses scientifically proven methods in his/her work.

- Student who is ready to learn quickly new technology, new tool and new business domain.

See also http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2008/11/linkedin-is-it-fair-compare-business.html


No comments: