Interview with Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession (CAEAP)

Enterprise Architecture Forum (EAF) is focused on bringing its members the most reliable and interesting information relevant to the field of enterprise architecture. It is our heartfelt desire to be instrumental in bringing the Enterprise Architecture (EA) community together and drawing from other resources to strengthen this group. With that goal in mind, EAF contacted EAF leaders from Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession (CAEAP) for an interview conducted by EAF writer Chelsea McCafferty.

EAF: What is CAEAP and how was it founded?

CAEAP: CAEAP is an advocacy group for the enterprise architecture profession. It is a non-profit organization. CAEAP is for every enterprise architect who aspires at being recognized as a professional enterprise architect. It was launched in mid-December 2008, and as of March, 2010 has members across four continents. The founders are Mark Lane and Mark Goetsch and they both have a vision for this professional society acting as an advocacy group to support the following ideals:

  • Strengthen the identity of the Enterprise Architect Profession;
  • Provide differentiation between EA and other professions;
  • Engender consistency and relevance for the Profession and its practice; and
  • Change the way in which people think about and value EA.

EAF: Why was the group developed?

CAEAP: There was no organization solely dedicated to the advocacy of the enterprise architecture profession. As an advocacy group, our agenda is the profession itself. CAEAP seeks to be the organization responsible for the Enterprise Architecture Profession. In this capacity, CAEAP acts as the primary advocate for the Profession addressing the public at large and enterprises the Profession serves.

EAF: What are CAEAP’s tenants?

CAEAP: CAEAP believes in the basic tenants of the profession and practice of Enterprise Architecture.

Professional Tenants:

  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession has a focus of study embodied by its knowledge base.
  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession has a world view of Professional practice standards.
  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession actively conducts research and advances its theoretical base.
  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession has a reference profession used to establish the EA profession.
  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession has practice ethics, principles and values associated with the profession.
  • The Enterprise Architecture Profession develops educational programs and promotes professionalism.

Practice Tenants:

  • Enterprise architecture exists, whether it is recognized or not.
  • Enterprise architecture aligns and balances the needs of the enterprise.
  • Enterprise architecture embodies all other architectures used in the enterprise.
  • Enterprise architecture contains rational views that represent the logical transformations of the enterprise.
  • Enterprise architecture contributes to rational investment in change.
  • Enterprise architecture contributes to sustaining organizational value.
  • Enterprise architecture identifies and creates enterprise value through facilitation of innovation.
  • Enterprise architecture contributes to creating transformational value through operating and business models.

EAF: What are the goals of enterprise architecture?

CAEAP: The goal of enterprise architecture is to design and implement the structures that link a company’s strategy with its execution. This vital link captures the corporate strategy as blueprints that include enough guidance and detail for the various parts of the organization to execute while allowing sufficient innovation for groups to be competitive. Specialized practices are used to determine where the company is today, scenarios for where it will be tomorrow, and the roadmaps that lead from one stage in the journey to the next. In order to realize this goal, the profession must have a foundation or so-called infrastructure of consistent practices.

“CAEAP aspires to provide leadership required for public acceptance of the enterprise architecture profession.”—Mark Lane

EAF: Why is CAEAP a particularly attractive group to join?

CAEAP: True professionalism dictates that one give back to the profession from which one has benefited. Profound rewards can be achieved as a result of volunteer service to the enterprise architecture profession.

  • Knowledge Share – The best way to “give back to the profession” is to author articles and presentations, or join one of the association’s workstreams, in order to share your knowledge, experiences and lessons learned.
  • Training and Education – Serving a volunteer role in CAEAP can be a tremendous learning opportunity. Where one assumes a leadership role, that responsibility forces you to become more knowledgeable about a wide range of topics.
  • Industry Recognition – As a volunteer, you will be recognized and acknowledged by the other professional leaders with whom you work.
  • Networking / Sense of Community – Networking is regarded as the most obvious benefit from volunteering, and is quite real and significant.
  • Career Advancement – Of course, all of the above can help advance your career – sharing knowledge, accelerated learning about EA, greater visibility, networking and relationships.

EAF: How do CAEAP members and leadership advocate change?

CAEAP: CAEAP supports responsible advocacy on the behalf of the Profession through:

  • writing in journals, web sites, blogs and other media
  • speaking in enterprise and public forums
  • actively engaging with other enterprise architects, students, and communities of interests
  • leading by example in the practice of the Profession

CAEAP’s advocacy efforts align with and leverage available resources and endeavor to answer key questions for the public, such as:

  • clarify to the public what a professional EA contributes
  • ensure the public’s trust in EA as a profession
  • assure the public they’re dealing with a competent EA professional

EAF: What will make CAEAP successful where other groups have struggled?

CAEAP: Professional organizations link directly to careers. Simply put, it is in every enterprise architects best interests for these advocacy efforts to succeed. There is an interesting discussion within the paralegal profession’s attempts at recognition. They noticed how law firms, in the interest of saving money, re-classified paralegals as legal secretaries or legal assistants. While the battle is hardly over, the cost in salaries is substantial. Enterprise architects, whether they are in the public or private sectors, face this risk. Without unity in the profession and without constant advocacy, this could easily happen to EA.

EAF: Members of CAEAP are required to sign the Enterprise Architect’s Professional Oath. Why is that? What makes this oath important?

CAEAP: The Enterprise Architect’s Professional Oath is a social contract for moral behavior, commitment towards the community, and mutual obligation among members and the Enterprise Architecture profession itself. The Oath is a guideline for shaping the behavior of Enterprise Architect professionals and for stating consequences of misbehavior. CAEAP will monitor compliance, establish protocols for due process to review infractions, and administer sanctions as appropriate and necessary.

EAF: Members of CAEAP must also abide by the foundation values and principles for EA profession. Why is that? What makes this Doctrine important?

CAEAP: This Doctrine embodies Enterprise Architecture foundation values and principles for both Practice and Profession, clarifies the purpose of EA, and establishes a basis for EA to mature as a Profession. The Doctrine defines an ideal for behaviors that members of the Profession strive to achieve and for which they are held accountable, today and into the future. The Doctrine’s values and principles provide a defensible foundation for providing value to stakeholders across a wide spectrum of cultures, organizations and practitioners.

The Doctrine provides a set of foundation values and principles for EA. It also gives clarity of purpose to guide practitioners in balancing conflicts. Enterprise architects are expected to live the values and live by the principles, not simply reference them. The Enterprise Architect’s Oath, a separate document, commits enterprise architects to uphold the ethics of the Profession. Taken together, the values, principles, and ethics offer all Enterprise Architects a sound foundation for their professional behavior.

Gaining the trust for the profession of enterprise architecture must be regarded as an important responsibility for all individual enterprise architects. The Enterprise Architect’s Professional Oath reminds enterprise architects of their obligation to honor and further the reputation of the profession as a whole by their actions as Enterprise Architects as well as by their commitment to develop and enforce the code.

EAF: What is the current state of the field of Enterprise Architecture? What are the challenges EAs face?

CAEAP: There is much uncertainty today with regard to Enterprise Architecture professionalization, which makes it very difficult for an individual architect to set a career path and follow that career path across organizations in a way that other professions may take for granted. The current state of the Enterprise Architecture profession is progressing slowly—this is a call to arms for all stakeholders. Every organization has enterprise architecture yet the Enterprise Architecture profession does not have a commonly defined set of capabilities and duties.

The legitimacy and formalization of Enterprise Architecture is not consistent across the industry or many organizations and does not enjoy professional autonomy as found in the medicine, law, engineering, or accounting professions. There is a lack of attention and focus paid to sustained legitimacy and a clear authentic direction in pursuit of Enterprise Architecture professionalism.

EAF: What is CAEAP doing to advance the EA industry today?

There are five programs that CAEAP wishes to engage with organizations, sectors and regions to complete:

1. Enterprise Architecture Professional Practice Guide (EA-PPG);
1.1. The Enterprise Architecture Professional Practice Guide will serve as the leading business document for enterprise architects to advance in their specific fields, and will serve as a crucial reference for educational bodies.

2. Executive Training: Leadership in the Enterprise Architecture Profession (LEAP);
2.1. The LEAP program is a leading-edge development opportunity designed for executives challenged with optimizing the performance and success of their organization. It covers all aspects of enterprise architecture—from strategy and structure issues to those surrounding external alliances and partnerships. This program will help you better design, plan, and implement strategies and structures that delivery better business results.

3. Mentoring Program: Mentoring for the Enterprise Architecture Professional (MEAP);
3.1. MEAP is an international EA coaching and mentoring service that connects practitioners with expert advisors dedicated to helping practitioners form and grow their practices. MEAP provides expert advice and valuable resources for practitioners to start and grow their own EA practice. Thousands of practitioners count on MEAP (Mentoring for the EA Professional) for confidential practice counseling. MEAP will assign you a personal practice coach to help you with every step of your practice. Whether you are a longtime practitioner or new entrant into the profession–MEAP is a resource for you.

4. The Enterprise Architecture Registry Program (EARP)
4.1. The Registered Enterprise Architect is maintained through a registry that provides recognition that an enterprise architect has met the basic educational requirements for a profession (through other accredited organizations), follow the oath, understand the professional practice guide for the profession, and aspire to the principles and values found in the doctrine. There is an experience component as well, that is checked against a reference model for the types of architectural work found within enterprise architecture. Part of this is to list this career progression on the registry so that the enterprise architect can show consistency in growth and professional development. CAEAP will maintain this registry as a method to accredit enterprise architects. The registry is also a method for recognizing enterprise architecture teams, executives who have a basic understanding of the profession, and those on the path to becoming a registered enterprise architect.

4.2. The Registered Enterprise Architecture Team recognition is through a 5-star approach. Different than the maturity model approach, which is based on quality and process metrics, the star approach is based on softer variables. This includes how the team is known outside of its own company, how the business views its team, recognized writing, community involvement, and the ability to design in the enterprise (innovative designs, alignment). This is the secret sauce that cannot be predicted through other approaches. There are no specific hurdles from one star to another, although as this evolves those will become better understood.

5. The EA Accreditation Program (EAAP)
5.1. The mission of the Accreditation program is to provide the foundation excellence in the enterprise architecture profession by setting standards for EA education, training and certifications through CAEAP accreditation programs that meet those standards. Accreditation is not the same certification; certifications control the process by which professionalism is measured where accreditation approves others that control the process.

There are three major interrelated segments of the Accreditation program

  • Accreditation of Education and Training
  • Accrediting of Certifications
  • Accrediting Individual Professional Practices

1. Accredit Education and Training

  • Education is University level education that is either directly tied to the professional practices of the enterprise architecture profession or to a support field.
  • For classes that are enterprise architecture specific this may contribute directly to an individual requirement.
  • For classes that are part of a support field this does not apply directly to an individual requirement.
  • Training is through an accredited provider.
  • Training can be course based or certification based.
  • It has to be specific to the enterprise architecture profession.
  • A matrix can be developed to place the course or courses within the context of CAEAP accreditation.

2. Accrediting Certifications

  • Certifications are accredited if they meet the criteria set up for the enterprise architecture profession.
  • Certifications can be used to eliminate requirements depending upon how they contribute to knowledge:
  • Terminology
  • Concepts
  • Extension
  • To deliver a certification the certifying organization must be a participant in the CAEAP process.

3. Accrediting Individual Professional Practices

  • Professional practices are how an individual operates as a professional enterprise architect.
  • The only accreditation mechanism is to determine that the individual is fully aware of their responsibilities to the public and profession.
  • This has often been a test; however there may be other options to consider.

“As a nonprofit organization, must be recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and must be considered a reliable authority on the quality of postsecondary enterprise architecture education, across the globe”
— Mark Lane

EAF: How do you think an open discussion forum like EAF can help the Architect community? What do you like about the forum?

CAEAP: EAF will help to:
1. Create a network of people interested in Enterprise Architecture best practices;
2. Educate the IT and business community about Enterprise Architecture;
3. Educate and promote Enterprise Architecture Professional topics of interest;
4. Promote group discussion on relevant current events in the field of EA; and
5. Promote the effective application of Enterprise Architecture.

CAEAP believes that by working together, organization like CAEAP and EAF will help to create consistent practices and enable enterprise architects to lead a strategy of improving business results — by formalising the enterprise’s architecture, driving structural innovations and overseeing investments in change!

EAF would like to thank the leaders of CAEAP for taking the time to speak with us about the challenges, opportunities and goals for the Profession of Enterprise Architecture to help practitioners grow the Enterprise Architecture capability and attain a better grasp on how to handle Enterprise Architecture challenges at the executive level and of course, increase competitive positioning in being hired as a professional Enterprise Architect!

The original article was published on 5th March 2010 and is available here.

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