The comments below on capability and personality type come from research I have recently read.
In many cases people don't have the motivation to see EA done properly
- self-interest: if my knowledge represents my value then why should I share it? And if everyone can share knowledge without me - why do they need me.
- insecurity: if my judgements are based partially on gut instinct (to be charitable) or blind prejudice (to be uncharitable) I don't want my judgements to be examined critically i.e. the basis on which I reach my conclusions (develop my plans and strategies).
- secrecy: frequently people don't want to disclose their plans or strategies because it allows people to oppose them. Usually within the organisation this is counter productive.
- laziness: thinking is hard, takes time and effort, and if I can wing it - then that may be easier.
- mypoia: I am judged based on this years projects/results (not how well it works when I am gone).
- be visionary and be able to conceptualise
- be able to analyse and problem solve
- show business acumen and be aware of situational politics
- Most importantly be able to communicate - and perhaps not annoy with their constellations of abilities ;-)
EA's should be: creative, open minded, passionate,engaging and resilient
Background (knowledge, skills and training)
It is useful to have had a broad background i.e. technical (hardware, software, services, applications etc.) and business (sales, marketing, operations) and to have had training in design (engineers, architects etc.) and communications. To have developed this breadth of background takes time.
To often an EA is criticized by some point technologist for not understanding the specific domain of the point technologist well enough. This is common criticism of architects generally.
The Peter Principle and EA.
When an organisation doesn't have hard and concrete measures of function (e.g. EA) the "Peter Principle" often comes into play.
Often the EA will be well respected within the Enterprise in an abstract kind of way (i.e. people will say "he knows a great deal about our business and systems", "he is very smart", "he knows lots about technology") , but not in a concrete way (i.e. "we really know what he does, what he produces etc."). This usually presents an EA who has risen through the ranks of technologists to pop out at the top. They will think that EA is little more than an extension of the technology oriented role they most recently had (e.g. SW design, infrastructure design/CMDB, Business process design etc.).
Frequently these people are ill-suited to EA based on their cognitive/personality profiles and they don't have broad backgrounds (i.e. they are essentially technologists - interested in technology).
To be success in EA one needs someone with the right: motivation, capabilites, personality type and background. These people are hard to find. The capabilities and personalities are very hard to change - but it is comparatively easy to provide people training to supplement gaps in their background, and it is easy to set up measures that will adjust their motivation.