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Ideal EA reporting lines

In my last post I made the point that an effective Enterprise Architecture (EA) team should be the same as a company’s Strategy team. That said the natural reporting line of an effective EA team should be the CEO or in larger firms one of the CEO’s direct reports.


Unfortunately, that seams as likely as winning the lottery. So our next best report-to for EA is the CIO. Sorry all CIOs but the last time I checked you weren’t the one driving business architecture. With that I suggest you do not attempt to do business architecture with your EA team. Rip that layer out and determine who in the business is driving the business architecture and become their best friend. Not ideal as the business architecture drives the application architecture which in turn drives the data and technology architecture. Make sure your application architects are pretty savvy business architects as well but don’t call them that. You’ll upset the “real” business folks.


In this scenario it is the CIO’s job to work with their business colleagues to either form a business architecture team or make it very clear who the business architect is for which business domain. Unless you are a small company business architects cannot have other jobs. So your finance architect can’t be a department finance lead and do that architecture thing on the side. These are dedicated roles. And why is this the CIO’s job not the Chief Architect’s job to get this alignment with the business? Because the Chief Architect will not get buy in from senior enough people, have to heard cats and constantly escalate to get these darn business architects identified.


If this doesn’t sound fun enough yet wait until reality hits and you (Chief Architect) report to the CTO. Let’s deal with that pleasure and reality in the next blog.


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