Embracing the Creative Side of EA

creativity in enterprise architecture

Upon reading our lead article this month, Ron Ross’s article on “What’s Wrong with the Term Knowledge Worker,” it occurred to me that there are many parallels between his characterization of different types of workers and the traits we need as enterprise architects. What struck me most is the distinction between roles that generally follow prescribed processes and those whose work is not routine.

For many years, I have noted that a disproportionate amount of material on EA focuses on mastering the more routine mechanics of the work: frameworks, modeling, methodologies, artifact formats, and the delivery of business solutions. While there is no question that those are necessary, they aren’t sufficient for a successful EA program. A major aspect of EA is nonroutine and knowledge-intensive. Much of that work is creative “thinking”—studying trends, understanding how scenarios might play out in the big picture, and imagining speculative futures unburdened by the past. In my day job as an EA mentor, I universally find that EA practitioners and leaders would be well served to invest in learning the softer creative skills necessary for their role: wielding influence, communicating effectively, leadership, and change management.

Our interview this issue is with Rick Lauderdale, the chief architect at the Department of Energy. Rick shares a bit of his history as an EA and concludes with some advice for those new to EA. Finally, our Best of the Blog contributor, Christine Stephenson, looks at the benefits of using the Business Capability Model.

We hope these articles will make you think and help you expand your EA horizons in new and different ways. And thanks for being an A&G reader!

George Paras
About George Paras 26 Articles
George S. Paras is editor-in-chief of A&G and an EA mentor at EAdirections. Read his blog at eadirections.com.