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When everyone does everything…

My last blog was on how important it is to have clear roles and responsibilities. More specifically, why it is even more important for Enterprise Architecture (EA) as every IT leader likes to do EA work. If you do not have the support from your CIO to enforce EA roles and responsibilities you’ll have to put your influencing skills in overdrive.


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 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

To be successful this requires very strong soft skills. Soft skills are often not the strong suit of an EA. Not every EA needs to have these soft skills but your EA leadership team certainly does.

It is also common for EA to be caught in this kind of dynamic. That is why I’ve got plenty of posts that explain why EA needs to be a strong influencer and not a dictator

  • EA decision rights. Who cares?

  • AAB not ARB

  • Don’t be such a snob

  • EA leaders are communicators

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll hone in on bullets 1-4 above (So what does EA need to do). Stay tuned!

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