Over the last couple of months, I’ve been on a mission to interview almost a thousand Solution Architects. Bizzdesign has experienced a growth in Solutions Architects using our platform, and I wanted to discover how we could connect Solutions Architecture to Enterprise Architecture to design better solutions.
During all the workshops I’ve attended and conversations I’ve had, I learned a couple of truths about a Solution Architect’s job. This job is highly varied, and a major part of this job requires design work, e.g. designing new solutions for business domains.
However, this is not the only task required from a Solution Architect. They also need to maintain and control existing solutions by migrating or re-platforming systems and business processes. They need to assess the risks of solutions and answer questions like: “How much Technical Debt is the enterprise willing to take on?” and “Does this impact the time to market new products or services?”.
I’ve also discovered that the modern Solution Architect is a great collaborator and communicator. They’re interconnected with a lot of co-creators and designers. They continuously need to communicate their work, whether this is to the architecture review board, development teams implementing solutions, or collaborating with key business stakeholders on new solutions.
As with any job, along with all the gains come the pains. I’ve learned that Solution Architects spend a lot of time in meetings and gathering information. They need to understand the current status of the architecture and in-flight projects. They continuously ask: Where do we go from here? They often depend on many stakeholders in the business to collect the information they need.
They may also need to start with every new project from scratch, which takes time before deliverables are ready and signed off. One customer shared that it takes many months to create a solution architecture deliverable before it’s ready to be signed off. And this can be problematic, right? Especially if teams are already building software or rolling out new business processes.
I also found out that Solutions Architects are looking for a structured way of working to increase the quality and impact of their deliverables – whether it’s a high-level contextual design or detailed diagrams showing the solution’s technicalities. Solutions Architects are continuously looking for better ways of working.
One of our customers described a Solutions Architect’s job as a golden thread for organizational change. He says that when you’re in a room talking about complex changes, it typically involves several areas or departments and roles in the enterprise, such as HR, different disciplines of architects, and a variety of business stakeholders, to name a few. Solution Architects bring everyone together.
So with all of this in mind, what’s the key to success for Solution Architects if they want to design better solutions?
I believe that business design plays a crucial role in almost all change processes by bringing in all the information and communication required for changes. At Bizzdesign, we believe a model-based approach for design work can turn around the failure rate on change projects.
With this in mind, we’ve designed a solution specifically for Solutions Architects to ensure a great design experience. We’ve aptly titled our solution: Solution Architecture Management, enabling you to deliver high-quality, on-time design work to create high-quality solution architecture deliverables.
1. Leverage standardized templates and design patterns
2. Impact analyses and scenario planning
3. Solution architecture design viewpoints
4. Guided solution architecture design
If you’re interested in learning more, request a live demo of our out-of-the-box solution, or watch the webinar replay: How Solution Architects Design Better Solutions. Curious to see how others create Solution Architecture value with Bizzdesign Horizzon? Watch the on-demand session with T-Mobile.