I think I have always believed in the core ideas of Enterprise Architecture, even before I knew what it was.
I grew up studying physics and mathematics, awed by the wonders of the physical world and curious as to why things work the way they do. In physics, the fundamental concepts of the physical world relate together and affect one another on scales from the very small to the entire universe. Math is a language used to express those relationships.
I also found myself drawn to music. To this day when people ask who I am I often respond that I am first a musician, then everything else. Musicians, while each expert at doing their own part, come together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the individual parts, expressed through themes, melodies, rhythms, and other overlapping and layered musical constructs.
Science and music have always been a part of me that I never tried to explain. When I think about it now though, I believe my passion for all things enterprise architecture is drawn from those same roots.
Even though I didn’t realize the parallels to EA at the time I am not surprised to see them. Enterprise architects see the web of a larger, wider, and ever changing enterprise, pivot among multiple narrower views at many levels of abstraction, visualize how they change over time, and collaborate with others to guide decision-making.
Once I discovered EA and began to help shape the discipline, I realized that I already believed in many of the core ideas. They just made sense to me. But a lot of the dogma, ideology and rigor of current methodologies don’t make sense for most companies. EA is more organic than that, and heavily dependent on people, culture and leadership. After earlier career stops in technology, business management, marketing and sales, and decades of mentoring hundreds of individuals, one thing I can say for certain is that EA is not just science or engineering. It is about the people, the way they work and they way they think. Every company is unique and one size of EA truly doesn’t fit any. I have chosen to help people discover the EA journey that makes sense and is right for them and for their company.
That’s my story – how and why I came to be a chief architect, EA research analyst and speaker, and am now an EA and leadership mentor.
Mr. Paras is a widely recognized mentor/coach, speaker, and thought leader in Enterprise Architecture, Strategy, Business Architecture, Transformation, Portfolio Management, Organization and Governance. He has guided hundreds of companies, offering practical advice on introducing, refining and sustaining these core disciplines.
Mr. Paras and his co-founder Tim Westbrock created EAdirections in 2006 to bring their unique mix of experience, creativity, insights, and pragmatism to the market. Their mission is to improve the skills and success of senior leaders and their teams.
Previously, he led EA research and provided guidance to IT leaders in his position as Director of Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies at META Group. He has also served as Vice President of Strategy at Troux Technologies, as the Senior Enterprise Architect at United Airlines, and held multiple leadership roles at several IT vendors. He served as Chairman of the Enterprise Architectures Conferences (EAC) for 12 years and has co-authored sections of two EA compilations, the “SIM Guide to Enterprise Architecture” and “Coherency Management”.
Dedicated to the advancement of the EA discipline, he has volunteered as Editor-in-Chief of Architecture and Governance Magazine since 2005.