Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Context of Architecture Roles

Today I was triggered by some posts where there was some opinions on where the line between Architecture and Design is.

One discussion was around an interesting blog post from Mark Wilson: "Where's the line between [IT] Architecture and Design". From my point of view Chris Potts answered it in a great way:

There was a second Twitter post which caught my attention:

For both ideas I have the tendency to answer them very similar to Chris Potts: The Architect Designs, as I have also put it in my blog post GLUE Roles and Responsibilities. The [Role] Architect does deliver the [GLUE Discipline] Design. Nevertheless there is an enormous amount of specialized Architecture Titles. And it is in the nature of the discussions between the people who own the title to create clearly defined empires, so that there is preferable no overlap. Reality (for real Enterprise Architecture) is that there is always overlaps. And the good news is that the tension and friction created due to the overlap have a good chance to enforce creation of new (hopefully great) ideas.

So, don't think you are an [xxx] Architect, but know you are, then you do not have to seek for a perfect definition. (There might be no chance to find the perfect answer, but just a working one. One that works for you only). The key message though is, that it is not a title, but a role. A role which will be fulfilled in any given context, because [Enterprise] Architecture inevitable happens, no matter if the people who perform it are titled in the right way or not.


  1. There was another comment on Chris Potts' tweet that I think is valid here: (Chris replied in agreement For me, this is not so much about what type of architect you are but that design does not equal architecture.

    As for EA - sure, there will be overlaps - but there's another example of an often mis-used term. Many times I've heard people describe themselves as enterprise architects because they design infrastructure in an enterprise context (I may even have done that myself before I knew better)!

    1. There might be individual discussions (to defend various empires/tribes), but by looking at the definitions itself I do not see a real difference:

      With respect to (Enterprise Wide) Infrastructure Architects I was also one day interviewed for that type of job (and failed of course, but after the interview I wasn't interested in it anymore anyways). The Job Ad looked ok though. :)