Just reading through a LinkedIn thread on “the biggest problem facing Enterprise Architecture,” and I noticed one response that struck a chord.  Charles Wade stated the biggest problem as: “Practicality! We spend allot[sic] of time in the Ivory Tower of Ego and don’t know how to apply EA.”

Yep.  I was there once.  Rare air up in the ivory tower.  Nice view.  Couldn’t wait to leave.  No one can hear you scream.

I left the ivory tower when I got the opportunity to engage directly with the business as an Enterprise Segment Architect.  (I’ll write about segment architecture in a future post… very similar to the role described at the federal level in FSAM).  In this role, I am very much an Enterprise Architect, but I don’t live in the ivory tower… My feet are firmly on the ground.  I drive the definition of initiatives and work (sometimes very long hours) to create clear and achievable roadmaps.

IT is involved, but my work far exceeds IT.  I’m working with the business directly, focusing on policies and procedures, understanding processes, looking at change management, rationalizing ownership of business capabilities, and yes, examining software system features.  My output is not software.  It is a well crafted initiative that “should” succeed in delivering on a business strategy.  It’s EA… without the ivory tower.

Right now, it is 7pm on a Thursday.  I’ve been at work for ten hours.  I’m finally going home. 

I spent exactly 3 minutes in the ivory tower today… writing this blog post. 

I don’t miss it.