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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

Enterprise Architects: Thought for the day from George Bernard Shaw

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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.? - George Bernard Shaw

Are you communicating the vision, business value and delivery capabilities of enterprise architecture?  Or just talking at people?


Interesting comment, Brenda. Don't know anyone who will admit to talking "at" people. For those folks who are making this mistake, and may not know it... any insight on how they can tell the difference?

Hi Nick,

Good point. There are definitely indicators that your EA messages aren't getting across. Here are some that I frequently see:

1. You aren't receiving funding for your initiatives despite (in your view) a direct business tie.

2. Project teams are (in your view) unprepared for architectural reviews and gates.

3. Project teams are duplicating or ignoring capabilities, services and platforms that the EA team provides.

4. The EA leader isn't included in discussions on major business initiatives or business-technology investments.

Each of these represents some level of communication breakdown. The first and fourth relate to communication and understanding of the overall value (contribution) of Enterprise Architecture.

The second and third relate to communication of EA's services and processes. Many times, there is a value perception issue here as well. EA needs to be a resource to business capability delivery teams, not an impediment.

Thanks for stopping by,


I came to EA from consulting/implementation career track. I though EA would be this great environment for strategic thinking and using technology to make real change across an entire company or organization.

However, I've been greatly disappointed in the mindset in the EA community. We don't have enough EAs who see themselves as change agents. We have too many who see themselves as framework practitioners and nothing more.

A successful change agent gets their message heard in a language their audience will react to. Do EAs really expect decision makers to base project investments based on frameworks? I've had to manage EAs who are so "technology agnostic" that they can no longer function effectively with IT implementation teams.

Until EAs can communicate in a manner that addresses costs and real technology issues first and leave frameworks in the academic arena, the profession will continue to be subject to budget cuts and doubts about its usefulness.

Anonymous Chief Architect,

Completely agree. The frameworks originally developed to aid the profession are now stifling it.

Enterprise Architecture needs revamping based on enabling the delivery of business and IT capability, and (measured) contribution to business outcomes.

Actually, I have something in mind and underway. I imagine you do as well.



Communication is play a vital role in any kind of project or business and history shows that some business or project has been failed because of poor communication. Illusion the problem or topic is really big deal as people know what it is but it is hard for them to explain to others.

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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