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A Few Tips on Moving Your Career to the Enterprise Level

By Maureen McVey, CBAP, Head of Learning and Development, IIBA
 
imageEnterprise architecture: a coherent whole of principles, methods, and models that are used in the design and realization of an enterprise's organisational structure, business processes, information systems, and infrastructure.” –Mark Lankorst, Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modeling, Communication and Analysis 
 
There are many different titles within the Enterprise Architecture job family: Business Architect, Enterprise Analyst, Solution Architect among others. Let’s look behind the title and into the knowledge and skills needed to move to the architect level.
 
Business analysis is at the core of Enterprise Architecture (EA). My intent is not to diminish the art of business analysis down to a few words, but rather to give you a list of the skills that are essential to EA.
  • Analytical and Problem Solving
  • Facilitation
  • Strong interpersonal and consultative skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Business Process Management
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Thinking
EA is a senior role and as the name suggests, this role is accountable for the development, refinement and recording of the entire organization. The value that EA brings is to optimize processes and technology by removing redundant technology and optimize resources. To move into this role ask for an assignment to larger, more complex projects, ideally one that addresses the need to normalize systems across multiple departments/divisions.
 
There are various approaches to address organizational needs at an enterprise level; therefore, you should understand one or more of the following frameworks:
  • The Open Group Architecture Framework - TOGAF
  • Service-Oriented Architecture SOA
  • Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI)
  • The Zachman Framework
For more information go to the IIBA® Online Library for these books:
  • Enterprise Business Architecture: The Formal Link between Strategy and Results by Ralph Whittle and Conrad B. Myrick
  • Enterprise Architecture A to Z: Frameworks, Business Process Modeling, SOA, and Infrastructure Technology by Daniel Minoli
You can hone your political skills by watching the IIBA Webinar: What’s Your Political Style? Learn Tactics for Career and Company Success presented by Rick Brandon, Ph.D. 

Become knowledgeable in organizational change and readiness assessments, process improvement such as business process management (BPM) approaches, and Lean Six Sigma.
 
Read the Best Practices for Better Business Analysis peer reviewed journals.
 
Become familiar with vendor selection and management, benchmarking, creating a business case and hone your negotiation skills. You will need to be knowledgeable of cloud computing and outsourcing. The IIBA Online Library can help with these reads:
  • Business Process Outsourcing: Process, Strategies, and Contracts, Second Edition by  John K. Halvey and Barbara M. Melby
  • Business in the Cloud: What Every Business Needs to Know About Cloud Computing by  Michael Hugos and Derek Hulitzky
  • Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics, & Techniques by  Tom Gosselin
The suggestions above are just of few of the foundational steps you can take towards an “Enterprise” level analyst position. Again, if you can be assigned to large-scale strategic business transformation projects, cultivate a relationship with an EA as a mentor you are on the right path. 
 
For more information on the EA role, visit the Career Road Map
 
Reference: Source: Enterprise Architecture Good Practices Guide, How to Manage the Enterprise Architecture Practice by Jaap Schekkerman

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