Monday, August 14, 2006


Thoughts on EA Talent Management

Today, a world famous industry analyst will be visiting to do a case study on us. One component of talent management is in the ability of an enterprise to motivate its employees. This has caused me to think about better ways to take care of folks in enterprise architecture organizations...

The biggest drain in terms of talent management absolutely, positively has to be the lack of strong technical leadership within most enterprises. Folks lower on the food chain should aspire not to just have the position of their bosses but to be like them in many ways. In my travels, many EAs think that their bosses are idiots (NOTE: For the record, I like mines).

The Pavlov syndrome resonates in EA more than other parts of IT. Unmotivated architects will merely push buttons and play the script required to receive stimulus. Many of them evangelize but don't believe it is their job to think and outsource all strategy to insulting firms and large industry analysts who provide four-color chock-a-block eye candy Powerpoint that lacks substance. Other EAs only exist to follow the orders given to them by their managers.

In the past folks such as James Robertson, Chris Petrilli, Robert McIllree and others refered to many of us as being too enterprisey. Many of the web 2.0 and Ruby camp see us folks in the enterprise as a bunch of incompetent morons with personality disorders. Nothing could be further from the truth. Talent is always discussed in terms of IT executives. Maybe real talent management has to do with the deliberate steps an enterprise takes with folks lower on the food chain. An enterprise with a bad culture becomes like a graveyard with only those to feeble to go elsewhere left behind.

Here are some common themes that I think should be discussed whenever talking about talent management:

Maybe the first thing an enterprise that wants to improve the notion of EA talent management should do is to read Frederick the Great...

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