Applying EA to my life

Everyone brings their experience and life to their work, afterall it is who we are.  People may assume it works the other way also.  It’s not always the case.

I know chefs who never cook at home. And some strict, powerful people I’ve seen in the workplace are absolutely bubbly, softies away from the office.

It makes me wonder about myself. Do I bring inklings of my work at home?

Does it matter?  Probably not, though I’m curious.  It can always be helpful to adopt other experiences to improve other things.

In terms of my work, for the past seven years I’ve worked as an enterprise architect. I took a liking to information technology in my first real job.  Then worked my way up from being a system administrator, to a technical lead, to a project manager and business analyst.  Then I guess the role which took most interest, was putting all of these things together in the enterprise architecture office.
For me, EA is effectively using all of the skills and experience I’ve gained in IT to make sure there is a good forward plan based on an assessment across the relevant pieces of the IT and business landscape.  I always want to ensure any plan aligns with a deep knowledge of the environment, then we’re in good shape to make the right investments and changes. It is also involved in shaping solutions based on satisfying the different viewpoints that may exist.

Enterprise architecture is most useful where there are large investments, huge variety, or where a change of strategy is being introduced.

It seems a strange discipline to bring to personal life.

But I suppose, when I define it so generally, we all do this to an extent.

One thing that differs is the kind of tools that EAs often use.  I have become quite the excel junky to create and maintain all sort of inventories/catalogues, and to conduct analysis or report something.  I draw pictures (create models) to help understand the different components and how they fit together.  And I do ask “Why?” so often it’s probably very annoying. And all decisions are checked to ensure they’re based on documented principles to guide the direction.

I’ve never felt the need to use “tools” to my home life. Nor do I worry too much about us documenting the future plan, then sticking to it through governance.

However, like most households we do often have competing perspectives. My kids just want to have fun, parents have a different set of needs.  I feel I navigate these well, perhaps through having to deal with similar scenarios at work. We always manage to come to some form of agreement. Not that this is something unique to an enterprise architect.

Harvey Pekar suggests “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” However, I think it’s less of an issue to get to the bottom of our decision-making. We happily live the consequences.

The big omission in my life, when compared to my enterprise architecture activities, is having a strategic viewpoint.  I’m doubtful though it’s something I really need to introduce to my personal life.
I do have goals, and each day I try to improve upon my habits – thanks to  As a family we have only rough ideas of what we’ll do in the future, and when.

I think that’s enough.