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Thursday, December 22, 2005

BI Architect

(This is a work in progress)
Descriptive of the technology. Words that come to mind are focus, integration, analysis, delivery, agility, process and measurability. Buzzies are ETL, EAI, OLAP, MDX, DMQ, Reporting, Services, CRM, KPI, KSF, more

Clear definition of initial goals and how to ensure a minimum ROI is necessary to attract stakeholders and keep project alive over time, I think. This goes for any project. The most important point is to prove your worth early, so that you have the play-room you need to get the task done the optimal agile way. Starting with the easiest parts that impress the most is one possibility.

People integration, process integration, data integration and all possible combination of these should be documented and understood. Starting with what is closest to you; if you are a data administrator, start joining tables with tables, processes and people; if you are a salesman, start joining people with people, processes and data; operations start joining processes with processes, people and data. For the architect, ensure all combinations of people, process and data integration is possible.

Revenue, revenue, revenue. We want to generate revenue. If we can acquire data that is convertible to valuable knowledge, knowledge that ultimately can generate revenue, then you should look into data analysis. Use OLAP, use Data Mining, use data quality enhancers. Interview some people. Start people off. Keep agile.

Results should be perfected. You need to deliver valuable results in such a way that is looks valuable, or it will lose its glance. Valuable results presented in a way so that they look cheap will be victims of self-fulfilling prophecies saying that they can’t be valuable. You want the right results delivered at the right time, BI might be a game for technical people, but for stakeholders it is serious.

Keep only what works. Create space to try things that are out of the box. Playing by the rules makes average results, breaking the rules without knowing the rules is guarantying disaster. Also, create space for small failures. To get the necessary room for this, it is important always to deliver more than promised.

To create a long-living system, it helps to look into the future and create processes that can endure and golden over time.

Measure and document everything. Create, store and change all your key performance indicators, your failing designs, your key success factors, backups, strategies and all other you can think of.

Business and Technical understanding of the concepts, plus the ability to communicate and get leverage to players on all the islands of people involved.

Microsoft certified architect

Building the infrastructure of technology, from a software application to the entire enterprise IT environment, requires a vision of the end result before the first step is taken. That vision and the path from it to completion is the essence of architecture.Today, there is no special Business Intelligence Architect role, but key requirements should be comparable to those for ”Microsoft certified Infrastructure Architects”

Candidates demonstrate that they develop partnerships with stakeholders across the organization on their projects; that they can mentor others; that they develop and form strong teams; and that they achieve successful results. Able to ask thought-provoking questions that translate into actionable technological patterns/solutions Actively mentor others Provide thought leadership by enabling others to see things from a different and better perspective Influence decision makers Champion structure, process, best practices and standards Promote the capture and reuse of intellectual capital Effective in building mutual partnerships and networks with parties or organizations

Technology Depth
Candidates demonstrate that they have a deep understanding of the concepts and application of at least two core technologies (for example, messaging, storage, Windows, networks, etc.) plus the ability to quickly assimilate information about new technologiesUnderstanding and application of at least two of the core technologies in depth (e.g. storage services, management services)One must have the ability to quickly gain depth

Technology Breadth
Candidates understand architectural best practices and are able to apply them across a breadth of technologies to orchestrate a solution. They also have views on the future development of a technology and how it might influence current solutions. Finally, they understand the interaction between infrastructure, solution, and enterprise architecture and practices. Ability to wisely employ architectural best practices Have a conceptual knowledge of multiple technologies Know what is coming in technology and how it could be managed Ability to rationalize and apply the relationship between the infrastructure architecture and the enterprise architecture, in addition to the enterprise architect framework used

Candidates demonstrate understanding of enterprise architectural frameworks such as TOGAF and operational frameworks such as ITIL and be able to use these frameworks in their projects. They also understand project management principals and how architects interact with project managers to deliver projects. In addition, they understand the economic dimension of projects and how costs influence the available choices for technologySynthesize industry-specific trends with respect to IT Align the infrastructure architecture to the enterprise framework in use (e.g. TOGAF, Zachman, IEEE 1471, BAIT) Operational excellence and operational frameworks (MOF, ITIL, etc.) IT Project portfolio management (project fits the business), balancing tactical requirements against strategic needs Balance between users, management, operations, support, and finance that meet the strategic needs of the business. Apply/integrate the value of project management frameworks and best practices (MSF, PMBOK, etc.)

Organization Dynamics
Candidates show that they are able to recognize the key stakeholders in a project and that they can work with those stakeholders to drive a project to a successful conclusion. They present the ability to pick the right battles at the right time and then recognize the political landscape that influences a project within an organization and then influence organizational politics for the success of their projects. Adeptly maneuver through politically-charged organizational situations Effective in building mutual partnerships and networks with parties or organizations Relationships with other architects and project stakeholder Have an awareness of the internal legal organization and ensure legal guidelines are met Be comfortable with compromise and conflict

Candidates demonstrate that they can gather and refine project requirements from both a technical and business perspective. They understand how to effectively prototype and test a solution and also showcase the talent to create effective project artifacts. Lastly, they exhibit the ability to refine project goals and the tactics necessary to achieve those goals as the project develops. Gather and analyze requirements (technical, business) Envision and create an infrastructure that can be implemented, and that meets requirements Model the pieces of the infrastructure and their relationships, communication semantics, etc. Prototype and prove the feasibility of the design Create the design artifacts that are required to deliver and to maintain the infrastructure See an infrastructure through to completion Audit compliance with the letter and intent of the architecture Review the ongoing implementation for opportunities for improvement Refine the model as requirements change, implementation choices play out, etc. Contribute to technical project management

Candidates show that they maintain well-written and accurate project documentation; they are able to present information on a technical subject in a concise and measured manner; they have the ability to influence others; they have the ability to manage conflicts effectively; and to tailor their communication to the needs of the target audience. Effective listener and astute observer Communicate effectively and persuasively at the audience level (executive, technical, etc.) Effective mediator/conflict management Able to document designs and specifications (adhering to company practices) Communicate infrastructure constraints to solutions architects Able to effectively facilitate meetings

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