Best Practices To Avoid Marginalization

Architecture teams often spend a significant amount of their time working with or consulting for IT project teams. This is a recognized best practice for ensuring that project teams execute in line with the architecture and for demonstrating that the architecture team provides tangible value, but it is also a double-edged sword. The downside is when IT management perceives that the EA team's primary value is in tactical problem solving. When IT management has this perception, at best, EA's strategic contribution is devalued, or teams are so busy on tactical issues that they don't have time to be strategic. At worst, the EA team is disbanded and architects are instead embedded in technology areas "to get closer to the delivery teams." We've all seen this; approximately 45% of firms don't have any centralized architecture function because they've chosen this route. EA programs start with good intentions but ultimately are marginalized.

This past month, we've published a number of reports that address how to avoid marginalization. In "Case Study: WestJet Creates Clarity With Its Architecture Services Catalog," we profile how one EA team as an outcome of an ITIL service catalog exercise was better able to communicate how it could help stakeholders with their highest-impact issues. At a broader level, in Jeff Scott's report "Successful EA Programs Integrate Specific Value Levers And Accelerators," we describe the full range of techniques EA teams should use to avoid marginalization, such as making sure strategies are aligned and focusing on standards that provide benefit.

I'd like to draw your attention to a number of upcoming reports and events. First, we are expanding our research base in two key architecture domains. Gene Leganza will be publishing a series of reports on best practices for focusing information architecture on where the organization sees the most value. Galen Schreck will be describing how your infrastructure architecture will evolve and how you can assess where you are and where you need to plan on changes. Lastly, I'd like to encourage you to:

Save the date!

Forrester's Enterprise Architecture Forum 2010: Leveraging Architecture For Business Impact

We'll have keynotes describing how architecture is being used in business transformation, the future of architecture standards, and how to develop technology strategies for business change. And we'll have sessions that drill into business and information architecture, technology futures, and EA effectiveness.

San Diego, Calif.

February 11-12, 2010

London, UK.

March 2-3, 2010