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This page provides an overview of Architecture Methods from the perspective of architects providing analysis as a foundation for leadership. (For more perspectives, see the Architecture Methods page.)

As an architect you are a leader, but your leadership is founded on analysis. Analysis is most effective for leadership when others have participated in the analysis and been "brought along" to a point of view, next step, or decision. You can use the methods linked from this page just to guide your own thinking, but they are all also intended for participation and communication. 

The initiative for analysis can come from you or from your organization. Your roles might include initiating the analysis, facilitating it with participants, providing subject matter expertise, collecting information, and producing summary artifacts. 

Common situations in which architects provide analysis are:

Analyzing a Portfolio

As an architect, you may be asked for analysis to support management of a portfolio. This can take place in the context of investment planning, service portfolio management, technology portfolio management, project portfolio management, or other governance. The analysis is typically used to justify the selection of certain services or solutions over others, so it is under close scrutiny and requires wide buy-in.

In general, analyzing a portfolio requires:

  • Choosing the scope and type of items being managed – for example, all IT services provided by the central IT organization, or all technology solutions managed by a department
  • Valuating the items being managed (services, solutions, projects, etc.) based on shared criteria
  • Showing the items in relation to each other in a clear way that supports understanding and decision-making
  • Considering change in the portfolio over time

Key considerations in choosing a method include:

  • How credible and persuasive will the method be in your organization? Which method are you most likely to be able to get people to participate in, understand, and agree to the outcomes of?
  • What information does the method require as inputs to be effective? Can you obtain that information, or involve people in gathering it?
  • Most methods involve some valuation of the items being managed (for example by business value). Do you already have shared criteria for that, or do they need to be established for the method to be viable in your organization?

Methods related to portfolio analysis include:

Analyzing Enterprise Context

Your broad view of the enterprise as an architect enables you to provide valuable context. This context will enable you and others to assess proposed changes and identify needed changes. The analysis is most valuable when it creates shared understanding among many participants, enabling them to communicate better and situate their ideas and decisions in context.

The portfolio analysis methods above provide one form of context, by placing services or solutions in clear relation to each other. The methods in this section look at what is enabled by the portfolio: the capabilities, processes, and information needed by the enterprise.

Methods related to context analysis include:

Guiding Initiatives

Methods related to guiding initiatives include:

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