10 reasons an Enterprise Architect is like being a new parent

I have been a first time father for almost 3 weeks. Whilst chatting to one of my mates we had a laugh about some of the similarities between parenthood and being an EA:

  1. You need a strategy (and engage your stakeholders) — our new family member is going to be around for a long time, we’ve got our hopes and dreams so a strategy is key. Current stakeholders are two (Mum and Dad) and will grow to three. We’ve just got some high level themes at the moment from sleeping through the night, to nurseries, schools and parenting strategies, but we’ll keep refining this over time!

  2. Roadmap — in line with our strategy how are we going to get there, this currently includes the basics like establishing routines/etc. before the grandparents visit to our trip back to the UK for my brother’s wedding next year.

  3. Transition States — at the moment these are simple: hungry/dirty/tired baby to full, nappy/diaper changed, sleeping baby (with some tummy time/activity in the middle). We’ll evolve these over time as she grows.

  4. Communications is key — with all stakeholders on a regular basis, from speaking with baby for development, to making sure we learn from each other as parents and keep our strategy/roadmap up to date on an hourly basis!

  5. Rapid upskilling on new segments — everything is new, from feeding to changing to comforting, etc. there’s a lot to upskill on. It’s no different from engaging a new segment as an EA. Even if it’s not your first it’s still good to recap.

  6. Engage external experts — a good EA will do this regularly, as a parent everybody thinks they are an expert, listen to advice, filter and apply what you want/need to.

  7. Architectural Debt vs Baby Debt — it’s inevitable, there are always sub optimal things that lead to debt architecturally and simple things like sleep debt (parent and baby!).

  8. Pick your Battles — I’ve written before about picking your battles, it’s the same with parenthood (top tip — never pick a battle with a sleep deprived mother, you won’t win!).

  9. Tactical Solutions — even with the best strategy in the world we still need tactical solutions, when business changes rapidly or you just get stuck in traffic and miss a feed!

  10. Cleaning up after others — admit it, we all spend time as EAs cleaning up after other people’s mess, it’s no different with a baby!

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