December 02, 2007

Six Key Roles & Responsibilities of a Solutions Architect

A Solutions Architect will essentially need to take some key responsibilities during the course of a project. Here are 6 key responsibilities/ roles that I think are the most important ones -
  • Solution delivery - The Solutions Architect (SA) is responsible for the delivery of a particular solution on the date committed. At times, this is shared by a Project Manager, but most often, the Solutions Architect is responsible
  • Project Timelines/ Schedule - Its an SA's duty to make sure the project is progressing in the right pace. The SA typically will work with the Project Manager to accomplish this task
  • Solution Architecture - The SA takes complete responsibility of the Solution Archtiecture. Though, in the process, the Solutions Architect might consult the Integration/ Infrastructure architects, the end product is owned by the SA
  • A Consultant - The SA also dons the role of a consultant during the early phases of the solution, when the SA needs to gather requirements and work with the sales team to put together a document in return to a Request For Proposal (RFP) from the customer
  • Subject Matter Expert - The Solution Architect is also a key person who understands the solution and the domain/ industry well. The Solution Architect needs to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to be able to understand the customer's requirement and also suggest alternatives to better the solution and alleviate the challenge/ issue being addressed
  • A Leader - A Solution Architect needs to be a leader who can efficiently lead a team of developers, project manager and effectively work with other business units in the company and the customer team in the creation of the solution. The SA should be able to work with the customer and help them envision the solution value, and how it will benefit them in the longer term
These are just six of the key responsibilities that come to my mind. Should you have more thoughts here, do mention them in the comments and your name!...I shall update the post with your comments.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy, have you got this wrong. If a solution architect tries to "lead a team of developers, project manager" you are heading for a major problem. There can only be one manager in a project and that person is deemed to be the project manager. If you don't understand that, you are a liability to the project.

Karthik Vijayakumar said...

Anonymous (Your name?),

This case does happen in projects that are in the proof of concepts/pilot stages, and its proven to work well in many cases and spaces.

Best,
Karthik

Atul Kr. said...

A Solution Architect may be consultant or SME but he can't be Project Manager.
There is difference between both the roles.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You are very right in your publication! An SA should be a SME, a consultant and a Project Manager. Some PMs lack technical background and needs the judgement of the SA to move the project smoothly. I totally agree with you.

Thiyaguraja said...

A Solution architect is supposed to give a architecture solution for the current problem/enhancement/new development of a program in an enterprise organization. Mostly he involves in development of Proof of Concept/Technology, decision making on technology stack, Ensuring that the Enterprise standards for the solutions provided.

Anonymous said...

Solution Architect is not a Project Manager . SA will be responsible for translating the complex business requirement into solutions .

The design will be passed to Project Team who will be building the system according to the design . The Project Manager will be responsible for building and deploying the solution .

SA will be validating the same .

Anonymous said...

An SA should be a SME, a consultant and a Project Manager. very much correct specially in ericsson .

Anonymous said...

I think that the Business Analyst is the sme in a specific line of business ex hospital industry, and the Solution Architect is the sme of a specific technology (can an architect be a master of both Microsoft and Java technologies?).

Anil Divate