Enterprise Architecture Stories

Enterprise Architecture craftmanship (1/2)

Enterprise Architecture craftmanship

During a summer holiday spent in Greece in 2021, I found the peace and quiet to reflect on my personal development within my workfield: Enterprise Architecture. In recent years, I have attended the most common training courses and completed certification programs (think TOGAF and ArchiMate), as well as all refresher courses. And yet… The feeling of “but isn’t there more?” persisted.

Once back in the Netherlands, I started looking for a new challenge. I stumbled upon the Open Certified Architect certification program of The Open Group. This program offers architects (as well as non-architects) the opportunity to obtain a certification based on experience in the field of Business Architecure, Digital Architecure, Enterprise or Solution Architecture.

The certification program

What appealed to me about this certification was the fact that it is based on experience. Not simply by learning course material or going through a textbook and then taking an exam. The program requires applicants to demonstrate skills and experience against a set of conformance requirements through written applications and peer interviews. There are no training courses to attend and no written exams to complete. Certification is awarded through experience-based profile assessment against a set of conformance requirements by recognized industry experts within their appropriate field.

There are three levels of certification, each with its own set of conformance requirements. I chose level two because it was closest to my own line of work.

An Enterprise Architect connects an organization’s business mission, methodology and processes to its IT strategy and documentation with the help of an array of architectural models, or views, which provide a picture of how an organization’s existing and future requirements may be accomplished in an effective, agile, sustainable and flexible manner.

An Enterprise Architect works closely with stakeholders, including management and subject matter experts (SME), to develop a view of an organization’s strategy, information, processes and IT assets. An Enterprise Architect is responsible for using this knowledge to ensure IT and business alignment.

The Open CA certification is broken down into three stages in which milestones must be achieved in order to move forward.

Open CA certification process
Certification process
  • Submit five separate milestones, which are then evaluated independently (upon successful completion of a milestone, a milestone badge is awarded)
  • Complete the Certification Application
  • Attend a board review (upon successful completion of the board, the full certification and certification badge is awarded)

First, the Professional Communications and Professional Development milestones must be achieved. In order to reach these two milestones, the candidate is asked to describe what he/she has done with regard to communication and personal development. The candidate is expected to indicate and describe the way in which he/she has communicated, the relevance of what was communicated and the activities undertaken to keep up to date in the field of architecture. The answers should show that the person in question considers their own way of communicating and their own development to be important and has actually made an effort to do so recently.

After achieving the first two milestones, multiple Experience Profiles need to be submitted. The number depends on the level of certification the candidate is pursuing. In my case, I wanted to achieve level two, Master Certified Architect, and that resulted in the submission of three Experience Profiles.

In an upcoming blog post I will continue describing my journey towards the Master Certified Architect certification. You may also want to check out the webinar I presented on this topic.

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