Make Project Teams Successful

This is a short follow up to a recent post by Todd Biske.

Enterprise architects have a critical, but often overlooked, function. One of our key responsibilities is to make project teams successful.

In the world of finance there is the concept of unrealised gains (or losses). For example, if your house increases in value then you’re better off – but only on paper. You won’t realise the gains then until you sell your house.

When enterprise architects develop strategies and design solutions – the business benefits of their work aren’t realised until the solutions are built and running in production.

These solutions are built by project teams. We (architects) are relying on project teams to make us successful. So it makes sense for us to do everything possible to help project teams succeed. The best way to help project teams be successful is to get actively involved in the project. Rather than lobbing various artefacts over the fence – eat your own dog food.

If enterprise architects take this view, it will go a long way to solving the two issues Todd touched on in his post:

  • We can start rebuilding some trust. If architects take an active role within the project teams then there is a far greater chance that what is delivered resembles what was promised.
  • Mentoring will take care of itself. Mentoring works best when it’s informal and relaxed. If architects get out of their ivory tower and spend time with project team then the teams will learn from the architects rather than be taught by them.

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