CIO Council firms up roles of system architects

CIO Council firms up roles of system architects

The CIO Council later this month will release a white paper to set standards for the job responsibilities of a solution architect, an enterprise architect and a chief architect.

Ira Hobbs, deputy CIO at the Agriculture Department and co-chairman of the council's Work Force and Human Capital for IT subcommittee, said the Enterprise Architecture subcommittee and Norman Lorentz, chief technology officer at the Office of Management and Budget, have approved the definitions. The council will share the definitions with state and local governments, industry and academia.

'The notion of enterprise architecture is starting to take hold in the federal government,' Hobbs said. 'But as you find out how people define enterprise architecture and the skill sets of enterprise architects, solution architects or chief enterprise architects, they are all different. We have to figure out how the positions are structured. We need to agree on the scope and responsibilities of these positions.'

Reviewing IT job definitions every two years is part of the CIO Council's charge under the Clinger-Cohen Act, Hobbs said.

The council, which recently named Office of Personnel Management CIO Janet Barnes to be the new subcommittee co-chairwoman, came up with the definitions after consulting with federal and private-sector CIOs and federal employees holding such titles, Hobbs said.

'We want to continue to advance a common frame of reference for each of these positions, so that when we talk about the job of solution architect, we know where they fit in the scheme of things,' Hobbs said. 'We would like to advance to the point where OPM creates a new class of worker. If you look at the GS-2210 job series, there is no mention of enterprise architect.'

OPM set up the 2210 series in 2001 to better define IT employees' jobs.

Hobbs added that the subcommittee will brief OMB after reviewing the results of a project management survey that concluded a new definition was also needed for project managers. Hobbs would not comment on the new definition.

The subcommittee's work on Project Roadmap, an online tool to help employees draw up their own training and career advancement strategies, is close to completion. Hobbs said the subcommittee is working with OPM to resolve some final issues before releasing the tool.

(Updated June 9, 2003 9:41 a.m.)


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