We all know that learning does not stop after you have graduated from college. But as adults, in this hectic world, do we ever take it upon ourselves to attend training that is not on a specifically defined path from our employer? Does your manager or employer even know what is needed in your job role?

In the IT Architect world, framework and methodology certifications are the most recognized but are they all an architect needs?

I believe architects, or for that matter leaders or aspiring leaders, need the following basic skills sets in order to succeed.

Communication: Making sure you get your point across and the ability to get your point understood by multiple business units and the LOB. This means, speaking “their language” in a clear and simple way with the fact and figures to back you up.

Human Dynamics: Being able to understand the human coefficient in every situation whether it is the individual or the team dynamic.

Strategic Thinking: Understanding the business objectives, constraints and how your role and business unit aligns with these strategies. Ruth Malan and Dana Bredemeyer define the Strategic Thinking soft skill (which they call “Strategic Perspective”):

[An architect who has strategic perspective (ARGO)] understands the industry, market,

customers, competitors, suppliers, partners and capabilities of the business. Identifies

opportunities and threats, and actively identifies trends and future scenarios. “

Leadership: The ability to influence others by; leading by example, inspiring/motivating others, listening and providing direction…to name a few.

How do you feel your capabilities are in these areas?  How do you see being an expert in these areas would improve your life, your business, and your relationships?

In short, an architect’s knowledge and experience should go well beyond the technical skills learned in college or a frameworks course to truly be of value that will transform the individual.

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Additional Resources:

Human Dynamics:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

TED Talk: Kathryn Schulz, On Being Wrong



Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

10 Powerful Body Language Tips



Leaders, Meet your Future Selves

5 Ways Leaders Create the Best Places to Work by Brian Tracy

TED Talk: Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership