How do you manage an extended enterprise architecture (EA) team with a federated structure?

273 views2 Upvotes5 Comments

Chief Enterprise Architect in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Within our structure, my boss is the chief architect and he's the sole decision maker if we have any arbitration. He oversees all of architecture and I oversee all the capabilities needed to fulfill business requirements. We have architects in each business unit (BU), but part of how we work together is by coordinating our capability map with the framework. Our headcount is about 17K, but I own the framework and tooling so that there is a process for how everybody works across.

There are still silos but because we see Intuit as one platform, like an integrated ERP for small businesses, so things have to come together. The company gets structured around how the capabilities are grouped within the capability taxonomy. We’re working on rationalizing those capabilities and structuring the teams accordingly to deliver. It requires us to bring all these silos together because they have to inter-operate in order for all the end-to-end integrated ERP on the platform to work. So even though silos exist, the vision is to come together to deliver an AI-driven expert platform.
Technical Product Manager in Software, 2 - 10 employees
The teams that can successful align their services to ownership models with well defined interfaces that can be architected to able to be rebuilt/decoupled from dependencies and within 1-2 sprints have traditionally produced higher quality code and tend to ship.
VP & Chief Architect, 10,001+ employees
My firm has a highly federated architecture operating model.  My centralized Enterprise Architecture team works very closely with the federated architects ("feds") that are embedded in business-aligned IT teams across the organization.  We have evolved our culture to have a strong working relationship between my team and the feds, so our team is brought in when localized projects require the enterprise perspective or support.  We also host a monthly session with all of them to share practices, emerging technologies, and other topics of interest and this is heavily attended.  We have spent a lot of time building up this community, and have some plans for this year to further it by having internal certifications for all architects, and potentially contributing to the federated architects annual performance reviews with an enterprise goal and objective that we provide direct feedback on.
3 2 Replies
Head of Enterprise Architecture MERCK Group in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees

Matt, is my understanding correct, that you are following a hub and spoke concept or are the "feds" connected to each other directly? Also curious, how you build EA principles and eager to learn more on your certification!

VP & Chief Architect, 10,001+ employees

Hi Gerald - it is pretty much a hub and spoke, but we do bring all the feds together for monthly meetings.  We have a set of EA principles that we have developed and are now refreshing, that are the highest level, things like 'customer first', 'think enterprise', 'align to targets', 'seek to simplify' etc.  that are the truly guiding principles for all architects at my organization.  The certification idea is still in its infancy, but I think it has some promise!

Content you might like

Coaching and mentoring10%

Facilitating/scaling Agile47%

Removing impediments22%

Owning best practices10%

Leading Scrum meetings4%

Tracking progress2%

Sharing Agile knowledge across the org2%

I’m not sure2%

Something else not listed here0%



CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
Read More Comments
46.7k views133 Upvotes324 Comments


Yes, but we’re moving away from container-based architectures.43%


Other (please specify)0%


1.4k views1 Comment