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Title: New2EA Meeting Notes

Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM EST



  • Alberto Mendoza
  • Andy Mears
  • Ashish Pandit
  • Bryce Fox
  • Garrett King
  • Jacob Morris
  • Jeremy Pelegrin
  • Jim Phelps
  • Lonnie Smetana
  • Maher Shinouda
  • Marlon Raghunanan
  • Mohmoud Youssef
  • Mona Guerra
  • Ric Simmons
  • Rich Cropp
  • Tad Kolke
  • Yolanda Uzzell



  1. Pre-read: Architect your Enterprise Architecture Practice before you hire an EA.

  2. Discussion: What does Higher Education look for in an Architect?


Discussion about What does Higher Education look for in an Architect led by Jim Phelps:

Theme 1: Business Drivers

The business drivers that the institution faces are the first element in designing your EA practice and hiring your first Enterprise Architect.


  • Starts with the Business School and align with it

  • Show Enterprise Architecture brings value

Theme 2: Knowledge Sources

One key is to understand where you are already have deep knowledge that the EA can leverage and where the EA will need to bring the knowledge to the institution.


  • We see this in our IT leadership:  

    • If you have good team, you need a good manager. 

    • You already have the technical skill set.

  • Unionized positions usually promote within.

    • You usually get a deep technical person that you have to coach up the architecture skills.

  • Job Announcements usually just list technical skills desired.

  • Architects need a depth and breadth of technical knowledge

    • AND facilitation and communication skills

    • TO bridge technical and business people

  • Do I need to have IT practitioner to have an appreciation of architecture principles?

  • Should all architecture fit in the same job profile?  Are there different skill for those that are closer to the business?

Theme 3: Culture

The culture of your institution will be the greatest influence on how you structure an EA Practice.


  • Culture of a cooperative vs a start up

  • influence vs top down

Theme 4: Context

Context is the regulatory and policy landscape you operate in and the external drivers that your institution faces.


  • defense contracts, FERPA, state funded vs private institution

Theme 5: Maturity

Maturity is the measure of architectural practice and thinking at your institution.


  • Question: How do I recognize the people that thinking in this manner?
    • see big picture; explain complex situations; boil it down to actionable; synthesis information to develop a strategy
  • Culture - each organization is unique
    • even within the same institution; culture can be different even within a unit
    • for example the central IT the security vs the ERP team
    • ability of enterprise architecture to navigate

Theme 6: Scope

A key part of the charge for an EA team is the scope of the practice.


  • None

Theme 7: Value Chain and Engagement

Start with the challenges that you want your EA team to help with.  Then work through the value chain asking, "Who would the EA team need to work with" for each step along the way.


  • None

Theme 8: Operational Structure

Will EA be completely centralized - that is in one unit overseeing the whole of the scope that you have defined?

Will EA be Federated - working with local architect-types and coordinating and overseeing their efforts?

Or will EA be Feudal - each architecture group having its own autonomy, only coordinating with each other when they decide to on their own.


  • What's the capacity or willingness of the institution to adapt or absorb enterprise architecture?


  • Was EA practice started by CIO or sprung up from like mined folks?

    • UW - 12 people came together by starting a steering group

      • made some guidelines and principles

      • eventually made a proposal for EA and CIO acted on proposal

  • CIO had EA at their past institution and wanted one at their new institution
  • EA practice falls under CTO where most of infrastructure reports
  • From Gartner conference: EA is an internal consultancy
  • EA was driven by someone new to institution
    • started small and slowly grew practice
    • over time added positions by showing value
  • Architectures come from a wide variates of background:
    • ITANA examples: lawyer ; industrial designer ; chemist ; teaching and learning academic
  • Job description should not start with PhD or MS as a prerequisite.  It is about the skills.
  • Where to take practice?
    • reference material on ITANA website regarding maturity model

Upcoming calls:

Wednesday, April 14, 2020 - New2EA Steering Group meeting

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - Wiki Workshop Kickoff


  • great information - thanks for sharing
  • thanks - gave me ideas on how to improve my skills - way wider than just technical skills
  • thanks - great ammunition to give to management to build/start practice
  • great article - covers a lot of things related to EA practitioners and links to other resources

  • No labels