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Improving Collaboration Between EA and Business Leaders

July 21, 2022
Aaron Tan Dani

The quality of an enterprise architecture can have a major impact on its business performance. In an increasingly competitive environment where successfully innovating can make or break an organisation, and as businesses accelerate to become digital-first, this trend will inevitably continue. As such, the relationship between Enterprise Architecture (EA) teams and business leaders has never been more imperative to the success of digital transformation projects.

Misaligned priorities, pressure to meet incredibly tight deadlines, and a lack of communication are often the root cause of friction between both parties. Whilst business executives face the financial consequences of project delays, the EA community feel their technical advice is not always taken into account. The irony in this situation is that both parties have common goals but unfortunately this can easily get lost in translation.

Understanding the Relationship

To fully address this issue, it is important to understand why the relationship is so strained, and explore how Enterprise Architects can transform this into a relationship built on trust and open collaboration.

When it comes to evaluating processes and opportunities within their organisation, Enterprise Architects have a tendency to implement a model which business minds are not accustomed to. Enterprise Architects and business leaders are speaking to each other in completely different languages and adopting different thought processes to reach conclusions about what is best for the organisation and often losing sight of the common goals they share.

Key to changing this is for Enterprise Architects to learn about service delivery, which involves looking at projects from the perspective of a customer and becoming acquainted with their language. By transitioning to a service orientated approach, rather than focusing solely on architecture product delivery, Enterprise Architects can deliver instant decision support which is centered around proven knowledge and analysis, alongside just enough architecting to execute these decisions.

By taking the fundamental step to progress the role and demonstrate value, EA teams will ensure that they not only remain relevant but thrive in a continually evolving business environment. This way, Enterprise Architects will be seen as highly sought-after advisers within their organisations and continue to deliver value both now and in the future.

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