top of page

EA Dealing with the RACI limbo - Part I

As mentioned in my When Everyone Does Everything Blog, I’d follow that one up with four blogs on each of the “what to do” bullets below

Context: Being caught in this “RACI limbo” is not unusual. Your CIO wants to hold your head of business applications and CTO accountable for your application and technology architecture. Since the CIO is holding them accountable they feel like they need control and be driving the IT Strategy for their area vs Enterprise Architecture (EA). In that case you share an A (Accountable) and a R (Responsible) with your colleagues for IT Strategy and solutioning of critical transformations. Everyone tells you that As should not be shared in RACIs but they seem to do it anyway. It would be even worse if the CIO took the A away from EA.

So what does EA need to do?

  1. Build strong relationships with fellow IT leaders at all senior levels

  2. Be better at developing IT Strategies and complex solutions than their IT colleagues

  3. Have a clear engagement model and service offering

  4. Provide excellent service

Build strong relationships with fellow IT leaders at all senior levels

As your fellow IT leaders have a very strong say in what you as Chief Architect want to drive you need to influence them which starts with establishing a good working relationship.

Assign to each IT leader an EA team member as their go to person and relationship manager. I.e. your Data (Information and Integration) EA to your head of Datawarehousing and Integrations. If those are two different roles have one Data Architect cover your Datawarehousing leader and another your Integration leader. And so on … hope you get the idea.

If you have a hierarchy in your EA team then pair your head of app architecture with the head of enterprise applications. Your technology lead architect paired to your CTO. Again depends on how you are organized.

Finally, the Chief Architect should be linked to the CIO and establish a good relationships with all of the CIO’s direct reports. If some of your direct reports are paired with the CIO’s directs just make sure they are the key contact and you support as needed. It is important that you establish your EA core team members as goto people and partners with senior IT leaders. They should have senior level influence and avoid having every IT leader always go thru you, the chief architect.

Have the assigned EA’s partake in their respective IT leader’s staff meetings. I know a good part of staff meetings contain HR or other non-architecture related topics, but it is important that the IT leader’s team understands and sees that the assigned EA has a senior role and strong influence in their domain.

The EA’s role is to help the team figure out any architecture standards or solution architectures for key programs/projects. It is not to watch and guard/police the architecture standards.

If the relationship isn’t working as desired (e.g. EA is not pulled into critical domain roadmapping) then the chief architect should engage right away to clarify why they would like the EA there and how that fits into the EA operating model.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page