Disciplined Agile

Enterprise Architecture Roles and Responsibilities

There are several roles that are pertinent to enterprise architecture, as well as to architecture at the team/program level. Remember that these are roles, not positions. Small organizations may have a single person taking on every one of these roles whereas a large organization could have dozens of fine-grained positions. Remember, context counts. We define the following roles for Disciplined Agile (DA) enterprise architecture:

  • Enterprise architect (EA). Enterprise architects are responsible for envisioning, communicating, and evolving an organization’s enterprise architecture. The enterprise architecture addresses key enterprise aspects – including organizational structure, business processes and strategies, value streams, data and information, and supporting technologies – and how they fit together and are expected to evolve over time.
  • Chief enterprise architect. The chief enterprise architect, or chief EA, leads the enterprise architecture team within your organization. This person is typically an enterprise architect with additional leadership responsibilities.
  • Architecture owner (AO). An AO guides teams, in particular solution delivery teams, in architecture/solutioning decisions. AOs will work closely with enterprise architects and may even be in both roles. AO is a team-level role and are sometimes called agile solution architects or simply agile architects.
  • Chief architecture owner (CAO). A CAO is a program-level role, leading the architecture efforts across a program (a team of teams). CAOs are typically senior AOs with leadership responsibilities. CAOs work closely with EAs, and may also be an EA.
  • Specialized architect. This is a “meta role” for architects who focus on a specific aspect of the enterprise architecture. Table 1 lists potential specialized architects that may exist within your organization.

Table 1. Types of specialized architects. 

Type of Specialized Architect

Architectural Focus

Business architect

  • Organizational business processes
  • Aligning business strategy with value stream and product strategies
  • Organizational structure
  • Enterprise data

Information/data architect

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Data/information security
  • Enterprise data
  • Information flows

Domain architect

  • Business architect who is further specialized into one aspect of your business domain, such a brokerage within a financial institution or hydrology within civil engineering.

Infrastructure architect

  • IT network and systems
  • Physical equipment
  • Physical infrastructure (buildings, …)
  • Robotics 

Information Technology (IT) architect

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Data/information
  • IT network and systems
  • IT security
  • Robotics
  • System integration 

Network architect

  • Cloud-based computing
  • IT systems
  • Telecommunications  

Product/service architect

  • All aspects of a single product or service

Security architect

  • Cyber/info security
  • Physical security 

Value stream architect

 

  • All aspects of a value stream
  • Process flow 

Web architect

  • System integration
  • User experience 

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