At the dawn of Architectural practice, there was collaborative content creation. And at the apocalyptic end, it will still be there. After all, content creation is part of an Architect’s daily life. Done well, the collaborative effort of your entire practice can transcend beyond a single initiative and foster your community’s knowledge-sharing appetite. This consequently results in increased expertise across your team members. Ensuring that it is ‘done well’ is key, and we’re here to show you how to do just that.
Historically, content creation in Architecture departments has mostly focused on meeting internal and external information needs within the scope of an initiative. Internally, the practice has mostly consolidated all information pertaining to the initiative, partially based on external input. At the other end of the spectrum, information about the Architecture and assistance had to be provided to stakeholders. Deliverables such as Solution Architecture Documents (SAD) were therefore created to achieve these goals.
However, content created solely for one more or less defined initiative locks the shared knowledge into a specific instance of your technology landscape. As such, it doesn’t boost the general expertise of team members so much as just their narrow knowledge of this one project. Nowadays, many organizations are breaking down their IT landscapes into products instead of initiatives. Furthermore, they are optimizing those products for autonomy. The creation of Architectural content should, consequently, realign to this new context. This means leveraging it beyond your current initiative and moving towards product-based Architectural content. If you need to draw up a decision tree, for example, you might want to make it a tad more generalized so that you can reuse it across your projects.
This move offers a stronger focus on permanent and more general documentation. It facilitates documenting the Architectural footprint of a release. Moreover, it’s through this broad and reusable content that true knowledge and expertise is shared and fostered within your team.
For your team, this new way of creating Architectural content will feel strange at first and might be met with unease. After all, not everyone might be comfortable with doing work that doesn’t solely benefit the project they are working on right now. As an Architectural leader, your job is to encourage them to do so anyway, and boost your community’s eagerness to share their knowledge. You are the one your peers look to for expertise and experience. So it stands to reason that you hold a lot of sway in this regard. Creating this knowledge-sharing environment is not easy, but these two points can help you, as a leader, to do so:
Content creation doesn’t happen on an isolated island, of course. Your team members will most likely regularly collaborate on this creation. There are quite a few tools available to make this a streamlined and clear-cut process. The following are tried and tested methods for supporting collaboration:
Want to find out more about collaboration on content creation and other tools and processes in the Architectural practice? Download the slides below and watch our free webcast on the subject. You can also always reach out to our experts through firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a previous webinar, we talked about how to lead as an Architect. So we also took the time to focus on the tools and processes that can help you to achieve this goal. Four experts shared their insights on this subject in a free webinar on Friday, March 5th at 8:30 a.m. We explained how to structure and manage collaborations, deal with backlogs, and much more.
Speakers and topics:
Alain Peirens – Chief Technology Officer and Chief Architect at AXA Belgium
The challenge of structuring and managing the inherently collaborative nature of architectural work.
Laurent Cornet – Associate Partner, XPLUS Academy
The architectural backlog as the vehicle to capture, prioritize and follow up on what requires architectural attention and effort.
How collaborative content creation is the alpha and omega of architects’ daily activities.
Pieter Dubois – Partner, Executive Management Consultant, and Lead Enterprise Architect at XPLUS
How to make an inventory of relevant facts for future reference as a lever for effectiveness and efficiency.