Desired soft skills
Proactiveness - Architects need to take initiative, question approaches and point out mistakes. A good Architects knows it is not possible to please all the people all the time and is seldom reluctant to speak his or her mind.
Creativity - Architects must be able to find business and / or technological solutions for a wide range of technologies and business domains. Solutions always have budget, time and / or operational limitations. They must be aware of available standardized solutions to problems. When there is no standard solution, they should have the right amount of creativity to determine a good, sensible solution within the constraints.
Architects should be able to manage workshops, different styles and working forms to enable creativity in groups of stakeholders.
Analytic qualities - An architect be able to take multiple perspectives in account and help others see alternate perspectives.
Architects should understand decisions, and their alignments to the overall business of the company. They use business drivers for developing the architecture.
Architecture spans business, system, data and technical architecture. It is a lot to know — and both business and technology are constantly changing.
Architects need to be able to quickly locate and process information, be critical and separate important facts from big amounts of information. Architect should use critical thinking skills, avoid cognitive biases and use mental modals to do the rational, sceptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence.
Organizational qualities - Being able to manage time and prioritize tasks is important for most professions. It is particularly important for Architects because enterprise architecture involves long term strategic planning.
Architects can not be stuck in reactive mode — they need to balance daily pressures with the need to focus on long term priorities and goals.
Leadership qualities - Architects should inspire confidence, motivate and garner respect from business and technology stakeholders.
Architects should be confident in making, governing and communicating decisions.
Leadership also requires planning, supervision, coaching and delegation skills.
Influencing qualities - An architect is positive. They address matters that they want to change and have the ability to gain support, inspire others and engage people's imaginations.
An architect is ambitious to bridge the gap between business and IT and agree on common solutions.
Architects should understand the environment the operate and how it influences them.
Architecture involves building common solutions across organizational, business and technological silos. Differences of opinion are the rule not the exception. Avoiding conflict at any cost might be perfectly all right for some professions — architecture is not one of those professions.
Architects must find common ground between stakeholders and determine approaches that have a good chance of achieving stakeholder support.
Implementation and governance of enterprise architecture involves constant negotiation. Choosing the ideal architectural path needs to be balanced with practical concerns such as budget and time to market.
Architects need organizational sensitivity, diplomacy and political savviness to navigate through an organization and its stakeholders.
Relational qualities - Architects should understand human factors and dynamics. This includes things like pragmatism, understanding team dynamics and personal dynamics.
Architects must network and build rapport with business and connected individuals in- and outside their company.
Communication skills - Architects must strive for an open and honest environment, where they can easily and clearly communicate the benefits of architectural approaches. Architects must be able to adjust their language use to a target group in order to make efficient communication possible.
They must be able to identify and name non-verbal communication.
Architects must be able to give presentations. They must be able to converse comfortably with a large audience. They must be able to present proposals for complex ideas in an attractive way.
The presentations must be tailored to the expectations and background of their audience.