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EA Dealing with the RACI limbo - Part II

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

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

Leading a team of enterprise architects gives you the advantage of other IT leaders is that you likely have an awesome team.

If you team is not a combination of very strong IT professional you’ve got to solve that problem right away. It’s not that everyone has to be the highest performer in their domain area but you do want people that are recognized by everyone as competent:

  • IT community knows them for their domain expertise. Ideally so does the business

  • They are open minded to industry best practices vs the way the company does things

  • They are objective. E.g. not tied to some solution they architected years ago, not tied to certain favored vendors, …

Now being able to develop better IT strategies or complex solutions than any other team is not very hard:

  • You have very strong team members

  • You have a small team where everyone knows each others strengths and enjoys working together

  • Your team gets to practice on tough problems and complex analyses. Who else gets to do this all the time

The key here is bullet two above. The team needs to leverage each others strength and engage all the needed experts for their analysis or solutioning. Sometimes architects think they know it all. Be careful and make sure they do actively involve each EA who’s domain expertise is needed.

So now that you have the best team at what you do why wouldn’t people naturally want to work with you. It's the talent of your team that should make people want to engage EA not the operating model that you or your boss are trying to ‘force’ on the organization.

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