Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Role of an Architect

For this reason, an architect is a horizontal role in that their greatest strength
comes from breadth of knowledge rather than depth of expertise. An architect
needs to weigh countless options against each other and pick the ones that
best solve the requirements.
Architects work on finding out what to do rather than how to do it. They
work from a set of requirements or goals and then pick the components
required to reach that goal. They work in close company with soft-skill
professionals such as business analysts, project managers, and so on, but also
with technical performers such as pure developers and administrators. Once
architects have completed their work, they hand over a design or architecture
to technical performers who them implement that design.
An architect needs to be able to construct massively complex grids of
capabilities. Every selected feature has both opportunities and challenges, and
these need to match not just the requirements but all other selected features as
well. Knowing all the capabilities of all available features and components is
in itself a huge challenge, but being able to put them all together to solve the
requirements without causing too many side effects is the task of a master.
My argument against going from a technical role to an architect role is in
short that a technical role is a role that focuses on few areas or one area in
depth, which is exactly the opposite of what an architect should do. A
previously technical-role architect will likely tend to prefer the methods and
options with which they are familiar, making them bad architects.
IT architects come in many flavors, even in SharePoint. Saying you’re a
SharePoint architect means about as much as saying you’re a SharePoint
developer. Sure, I know you design or architect things, but do you architect
solutions, infrastructure, security, information, or what?
Although you’ll find architects who work in multiple disciplines, keep in
mind that, as with all professions, if you split your profession over multiple
disciplines, you will not be able to go as deep into each area.
For example, a SharePoint solutions architect specializes in knowing as much
as possible about the capabilities of various features and components in

About the Author
Bjørn Christoffer Thorsmæhlum Furuknap is a senior solutions
architect, published author, speaker, and passionate
SharePointaholic. He has been doing software development
professionally since 1993 for small companies as well as
multinational corporations.
About Understanding SharePoint Journal
Understanding SharePoint Journal is a periodical published by USPJA Publishing LLC. The
journal covers few topics in each issue, focusing to teach a deeper understanding of each topic
while showing how to use SharePoint in real-life scenarios.
You can read more about USP Journal, as well as get other issues and sign up for regular
updates, discounts, and previews of upcoming issues, at .

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