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High Performing Enterprise Architects

Growing knowledge and skills to be an effective Enterprise Architect takes continuous growth, rationalization, patience, desire, and a well thought out plan.  This means continuously taking time to reflect, distil, and enhance your abilities as an EA.  A book I recently read is one of many great self-help resources to aid existing and wanna-be EA’s position themselves for success. 


The book?  Sharon Evans “Zoom Factor for the Enterprise Architect” giving her perspective on developing a high performing Enterprise Architect.  It was one of those books you don’t have to force yourself to read.  Sharon has given order to Enterprise Architecture through her experiences, tips, advice, and learning’s to what could be a very chaotic practice and career.  She does not attempt to solve every problem in this book.  Instead, she simply presents alternatives and recommendations to develop an EA practice referencing numerous methodologies, frameworks, approaches, processes, and models for the reader to research further.   The content is overwhelming and for this Blog I am only highlighting some vital subject matter.  For the entire book review:


The book covers 5 sections

1. Basic Skills (Foundation)

Sharon articulates the basic skills and traits one should have as an Architect.   Utilizing what is known or learned from previous experiences and applying it forward into the general EA role.  She also spend time discussing the important skill of problem analysis. 

2. Process (The Meat and Potatoes Section)

A good section on the criticality of communication, the 5 most common architecture approaches, developing architecture models, focusing on the specifics while considering the whole, and how to develop bioth blueprint and roadmap models.  How’s that for one sentence. 🙂

3. Soft Skills

In this section the different types of architects are outlined in detail including the domain, project, and enterprise architects to help assess where you are in the EA journey including the gaps outlining possible continuous improvements you should consider.   Sharon then gives a soft skill overview  and tips focusing on leadership, politics, and consulting skills to help EA’s develop their core competencies. 

4. Vision & Big Picture Thinking

Developing vision and big picture thinking requires the need to understand the business you work for, management of the program portfolio, IT Architecture perspectives and the value EA brings to the table.  It means taking time to reflect and organize your thoughts to develop collaborative perspectives into a supported vision and target state.  While acting as the change agent to communicate a passionate and compelling vision.  As well as some really good advice in building the ultimate EA Dream Team.

5. Achieving Architecture Altitude

Developing your role as an Enterprise Architect to continuously expand your knowledge to assemble strategies, understand why business strategies are so important in driving the enterprise architecture strategy, while incorporating value-centered thinking in everything you do.  In this chapter you’ll learn some good stuff on the basics of strategic planning, being able to measure the value of EA, and understanding how to deal with change.


Zoom Factor Closing Review

Overall this book is definitely worth the read for all those currently in the midst of architecture no matter your level of experience.  For those of you who are just starting out a career as an Enterprise Architect, this book will be a reference guide in developing your career going forward, along with other sources such as relationships with other EA’s, forums and groups.  Even if you are already a high performing EA, certain statements and chapters will leave an impression on you.  They will remind you of certain circumstances, character traits, skills, gaps, methodologies, and tasks to continuously incorporate into your career so that you can be all that you can be.


Kindle Version:

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  • Thanks for review, I’ll buy one copy myself.
    One book which is very high in my ranking for EA is: “Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution by J W Ross”.

    Happy reading.


    • Gourav,

      Yes, I have the kindle version of this book and is indeed another great book I would recommend.  It’s just a little different perspective then Zoom Factor, however, complimentary.


      PS.  If anyone else would like to propose any other resources they use that would be very helpful to the community.