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Architectural Skills, Departments and Bodies

In order to provide architectural functions in an organisation, it is necessary to establish the appropriate organisational structure, processes, roles, responsibilities and knowledge. NAR, following the Architecture Capability Framework (ACF( ))) from TOGAF provides a reference model and guidance on how to make such organisational changes. In this information, the NAR is consistent with the corresponding sections of the SCC ICT Management Methods.

Building architectural capability, like dramatically improving any other capability, is both a one-time project and a subsequent ongoing activity that provides the context, environment, and resources to drive sustainable architectural practice.

Even an architectural capability has a target architecture, and building it requires changes in all layers of the architecture of the organization in which the capability is to be deployed.

First of all, at the business architecture level, an architecture unit needs to be established, and its roles, responsibilities and activities need to be defined. Next, the architecture repository governance processes need to be ensured. Most importantly, however, are the roles and responsibilities for the use of architecture in managing the development of the office.

At the data architecture level, the structure of the architecture repository and the artefacts to be stored in it need to be defined.

At the application architecture level of architectural capability, a modeling tool and architectural repository need to be selected, as well as supporting tools for architecture management, governance, and communication of architectural knowledge.

At the technology and infrastructure architecture level, the technology components and infrastructure to support the architectural applications need to be determined.

Also, the architecture capability should have a model of the vertical domains of its motivating architecture; team members and office leadership should share knowledge of what the architecture is for and what is expected of it.

The architecture unit, as a static part of the line management of the office, represents the means of architecture performance and management.

The Architecture Board, as a collective control, decision-making and escalation body, is a particularly fundamental element of the Authority's governance of architecture.

The Architecture Authority is a body whose main function is to perform at least the following five distinct but complementary and mutually reinforcing functions, particularly at the level of the public corporation (department, region or municipality):

  • A controlling body that pre-screens selected features of IT projects submitted within the ministry against the NAP principles and against the promulgated solution architecture standards.
  • An audit body determining the required level of architectural maturity of the individual organisational units of the authority or corporation, its architectural department and its processes and governance, and a body controlling the achievement of this level within the required time and its maintenance.
  • Enterprise architect and solution architect of the architectures (business, application, data and technology) of central shared (or unified) services and central shared (or standardized) Government (eGovernment) systems at the authority or corporation level.
  • Natural role model and leader (methodology) for the creation of Enterprise Architectures and Solution Architectures in the different OSSs in the corporation, i.e. creator and interpreter of customized methodology, manager of corporate shared knowledge (patterns, guides, reference models and practical examples) and manager of means for sharing architectural knowledge (architectural repository, portal, wiki, discussion forums, …).
  • Local (internal) Enterprise Architect of the Authority and of those organisations of the Department that request it and where the previous role of mentor is not sufficient.

NAR, in line with TOGAF, emphasizes the role of the Office Architecture Unit within the different levels of planning and change management, proportionally the Office Architecture Unit in the OVS needs to build and hold the skills according to the following diagram:

Needed Architecture Skills, source: //World-Class Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group, 2010

=== Architecture Unit Responsibilities===.

The architecture unit is typically responsible for achieving the following objectives:

  • Providing principles and standards for all architecture decisions.
  • Ensuring that best practices are applied to the development of architecture
  • Ensuring consistency between architectures
  • Identifying reusable components
  • Ensuring the architecture is flexible (to meet business needs, to make appropriate use of new technologies)
  • Enforcing consistency with the architecture
  • Developing architectural maturity in the organization

Operationally, the architecture unit is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and controlling architectural contract compliance of projects.
  • Ensuring effective and consistent architecture management and implementation.
  • Resolving escalated ambiguities, issues and conflicts.
  • Providing recommendations
  • Ensuring compliance with architectures and granting exceptions.
  • Ensuring controlled access to all relevant information for architecture implementation
  • Validating reported SLAs, savings, etc.

From a governance perspective, the architecture unit is responsible for:

  • Creating usable governance materials and running governance activities.
  • Providing a basic control mechanism to ensure effective implementation of the architecture.
  • Early identification of deviations (non-conformances) from the architecture and planning activities for remediation
  • Building a link between the architecture implementation, the architecture strategy and objectives contained in the enterprise architecture and the strategic objectives of the department

Roles and capabilities in the architecture unit

The expected functions of the Architecture Unit need to be filled with staff capacity (even fractional) with the appropriate skills to enter the roles listed below. Multiple roles may be filled by one staff member and some roles may be outsourced on a permanent or temporary basis.

  • Head (Director) of the Architecture Unit of the Authority
  • Chief Architect of the Authority (Enterprise Architect)
  • Enterprise Architect
  • Domain Authority Architect (Enterprise Architect)
  • Enterprise Architect
  • Office Application Architect
  • Authority Data Architect
  • Office Technology (IT) Architect
  • Office Security (IT) Architect
  • Lead architect for eGovernment and other change projects
  • Domain Solution Architect
  • Business (Process) Solution Architect
  • Application Solution Architect
  • Data Solution Architect
  • Technology (IT) Solution Architect
  • Security (IT) Solution Architect
  • Major Solution Architect - across domains, for example:
    • Architect for all eHealth related components.
    • Architect for all solutions on the xyz platform.
    • Architect for cross-cutting IT services (DMS, Knowledge Management, Workflow, etc.).
  • Specialist in legislation and analysis of eGovernment architecture in the Czech Republic and EU
  • Methodologist of architectural education, personal development and sharing of architectural knowledge in the ministry

The complete structure of the architecture unit is mostly a distributed (virtual) team. Part of the team is represented by the chief architect and enteprise architects, collectively abbreviated as the architectural office of the office. This team (unit) should be part of the advisory bodies of the top management of the Authority, together with the Authority's design office, internal audit, quality management, PR, legal, etc. These key strategic planning and transformational change management roles must be covered by internal Authority staff, while their limited expertise or capacity can be supplemented by external experts, but the responsibility and management of the knowledge gained and maintained must be internal.

The second level of architectural detail, called solution architecture, is typically provided by dedicated IT architecture and business (process) architecture or analysis units.

The Architecture Council is the sponsor of architecture in the organization. It is the executive group responsible for the control and maintenance of the strategic architecture and all of its subordinate architectures. The position of the Architecture Board in the structure of the organisation and its relationship to other departments is illustrated in the figure below.

An overview of roles and responsibilities in the creation and use of the architecture. Source: TOGAF (2011).

An architectural board must be established with clearly articulated

  • responsibilities and decision-making abilities,
  • powers and its limits.

The size and composition of the architectural board

The recommended size of the Architectural Board is 4 to 5 (no more than 10) permanent members. The structure of the Architectural Board should reflect the structure of the organization. The board may also have temporary members, due to time constraints and inability to serve permanently, or due to ongoing projects. The Architecture Board should represent all key stakeholders in the architecture (stakeholder) and typically consists of a group of senior managers responsible for oversight and maintenance of the overall architecture from the perspective of their responsibilities.

The Architecture Board must have a member from the highest level of the organization (sponsor). A common reason for failure to build an architectural practice is the absence of an executive force that is capable of making binding decisions.

For all the roles listed above, overviews of the required personality traits and professional skills will be prepared in the Knowledge base, combining the type of skill and the required (recommended) skill level.

The ability to create, maintain and use an office architecture is a knowledge-based capability, so one of the responsibilities of the architecture team manager is to manage the knowledge development of their core and virtual team.

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