Lead Technical Architect

Summary

A lead technical architect works with multiple projects or teams on problems that require broad architectural thinking.

At this role level, you will:

  • be responsible for leading the technical design of systems and services, justifying and communicating design decisions
  • assure other services and system quality, ensuring the technical work fits into the broader strategy for government
  • explore the benefits of cross-government alignment
  • provide mentoring within teams
  • provide leadership to other architects

Background

Background Components

Description Background
Is familiar with the systems development lifecycle and typical problems associated with the implementation and operations of information systems, from initial concept through development and implementation to operation and support. Has detailed practical knowledge of the organisation’s IT infrastructure and software development and maintenance methods, tools and techniques. Is conversant with the organisation’s IT strategy, policies and standards, and any industry regulations/constraints. Has a good appreciation of risk management, change management, configuration management, reliability and safety methods and the use of Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details
Architecture development Leads the development of solution architectures in specific business, infrastructure or functional areas. Ensures that appropriate tools and methods are available, understood and employed in architecture development. Educates and ensures an understanding of non-functional requirements by all stakeholders.
Change programmes Within a business change programme, leads the preparation of technical plans and in liaison with business assurance and project staff, ensures that appropriate technical resources are made available.
Evaluation and selection Develops product short-lists and evaluation criteria then uses them in product selection, in accordance with policy and strategy for the selection of solution architecture components. Translates component specifications into detailed designs for implementation using selected
Technical assurance Advises on appropriate technical assurance criteria, and the conduct of quality reviews of technical products. Ensures change control is applied to specifications and designs. Ensures the adequacy and effective use of quality control procedures in relation to solution architecture components.
Technical exceptions Monitors technical progress, informing project management of major technical issues and making recommendations on their resolution. Advises on the impact of technical exceptions (including requests for changes, deviations from specifications, etc), and ensures that there is proper technical assessment of all exceptions. Informs project management of major technical issues and makes recommendations on their resolution.
Reviews and controls Contributes to formal reviews and evaluations when projects and programmes end. Documents and socialises the lessons learned from the architecture development.
Documentation Ensures all work is documented using the appropriate standards, methods and tools, including prototyping tools where appropriate.
Design Designs large or complex systems, covering for example: objectives, scope, constraints (such as performance, resources etc.), hardware, network and software environments, main system functions and information flows, data load and implementation strategies, phasing of development, requirements not met, and alternatives considered.
Components design Designs components using appropriate modelling techniques following agreed architectures, design standards, patterns and methodology. Identifies and evaluates alternative design options and trade-offs.
Detailed design specification Produces detailed design specification to form the basis for construction of systems, including for example: physical data flows, class and sequence diagrams, database schemas, file layouts, common routines and utilities, program specifications or prototypes, and backup, recovery and restart procedures. Reviews, verifies and improves own designs against specifications.
Presentation of design Models, simulates or prototypes the behaviour of proposed systems components to enable approval by stakeholders.
Development needs Supports the identification and prioritisation of development needs for a professional practice area. Identifies development activities that align with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.
Communities of practice Provides advice, guidance and, where appropriate, support for the establishment and organisation of communities of practice.

Knowledge/Skills

Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type
Analytical Thinking Acquiring a proper understanding of a problem or situation by breaking it down systematically into its component parts and identifying the relationships between these parts. Selecting the appropriate method/tool to resolve the problem and reflecting critically on the result, so that what is learnt is identified and assimilated. Behavioural Skills
Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions. Behavioural Skills
Application Systems Proficient in Technical or functional understanding of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) applications and/or other bespoke software deployed within the organisation in order to provide system configuration, audit, technical, and/or functional support. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Application Development Tools Expert in Software tools which automate or assist part of the development process. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Database Software Proficient in Software that enables the user to capture, create, populate and manipulate data structures and where appropriate unstructured data. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Networking and Communications Familiar with The planning and management of the interaction between two or more networking systems, computers or other intelligent devices. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards Proficient in Applying standards, practices, codes, and assessment and certification programmes relevant to the IT industry, and the specific organisation or business domain. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Operational/Service Architecture Proficient in Knowledge of the IT/IS infrastructure and the IT applications and service processes used within own organisation, including those associated with sustainability and efficiency. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Structured Reviews Proficient in Methods and techniques for structured reviews, including reviews of technical work products, test plans, business cases, architectures and any other key deliverables. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Business Environment Proficient in The business environment relating to own sphere of work (own organisation and/or closely associated organisations, such as customers, suppliers, partners and competitors), in particular those aspects of the business that the specialism is to support (i.e. localised organisational awareness from a technical perspective). Technical Knowledge and Skills
IT Environment Expert in The IT environment relating to own sphere of work (own organisation and/or closely associated organisations, such as customers, suppliers, partners), in particular own organisation’s technical platforms and those that interface to them through the specialism, including those in closely related organisations. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Middleware Proficient in Software which forms part of the operating platform infrastructure. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Infrastructure Configuration Familiar with Knowledge and understanding of infrastructure configurations. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Cloud/Virtualisation Familiar with The principles and application of cloud/ virtualisation (including ownership, responsibilities and security implications). Use of tools and systems to manage virtualised environments. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Design Principles Proficient in Principles and practice of good sustainable, secure, maintainable and efficient system design. Together with standard industry design approaches. Understanding the importance of adhering to design principles during infrastructure development, taking into account all relevant non-functional requirements in order to assure smooth running of the service in live operation. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Development Approach Proficient in Understanding and application of different development approaches e.g. iterative/ incremental methodologies (Agile, XP, TDD, SCRUM) or traditional sequential methodologies (Waterfall or V-Model). Irrespective of development methodology a DevOps approach may also be taken where development and operational staff work collaboratively. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Proof of Concept and Prototyping Proficient in Performing a proof of concept or prototyping exercise to demonstrate or evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of applying a particular technological business change in order to meet a business need. Technical Knowledge and Skills
DevOps Familiar with The collaborative approach consisting of agile practices, processes, and procedures designed to facilitate rapid IT service and product delivery. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams with the aim of shortening the systems development life cycle to provide continuous release of high-quality software. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Agile Proficient in A collection of methods, practises, tools and techniques, underpinned by the Agile Manifesto, that enable teams to deliver high value products and services in small, workable, increments. An Agile culture typically encompasses concepts such as Servant-Leaders; ceremonies, Stand-Ups, Sprints and Retrospectives; and the deployment of tools and techniques such as Backlogs and A/B Testing. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Quality Management Proficient in The system or method for the management of quality within the employing organisation’s Information Technology practices, including quality planning, assurance Other Knowledge and Skills
Techniques for Effective Meetings Familiar with Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants. Other Knowledge and Skills
Coaching Techniques Familiar with Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans. Other Knowledge and Skills
Project Planning and Control Techniques Familiar with Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects. Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details
Program Design Methods and Programming or system development methods (e.g. structured program design).
Systems Development Systems development, including development life cycles and methods, organisation interfaces, typical corporate application architectures, project and programme management, risk management and change control.
Coaching Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).
Presentation Skills Methods and techniques for verbal and visual communication in a formal or semi-formal environment, including face- to-face and online.
Network Infrastructure Architecture The frameworks and principles on which networks, systems, equipment and resources are based.
Product Evaluation and Selection The analytical comparison of products against specified requirements to determine the best solution.
Mentoring Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.
Security Awareness Tools and techniques to help users and employees understand the role they play in helping to combat information security breaches and for IT and security professionals to prevent and mitigate risk.
User Interface Design Principles, practices, tools and techniques for user interface design and the creation of graphical user interfaces that make user interaction with systems, software, and applications as simple and efficient as possible.

PDAs

PDA Components

Title Details
Deputising Standing in for supervisor or manager on a temporary basis during periods of absence.
Job Shadowing and Special Assignments Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.
Project Assignments Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.
Mentoring Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.
Research Assignments Exploring a topic which is not part of own normal responsibilities and presenting findings to colleagues and/or management
Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.
Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.
Participation in Professional Body Affairs Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.
Negotiating and Influencing Undertaking learning and practice of negotiating with and influencing others.
Team Leadership Undertaking learning and practice of the skills required to lead teams, including motivation, direction, coaching, delegation, appraisal, counselling and developing others.

Qualifications

Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body
BCS Intermediate Certificate in Enterprise and Solution Architecture BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT
TOGAF Certification Portfolio (4 certificates) The Open Group
Chartered IT Professional (CITP) BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT
FEDIP Advanced Practitioner FEDIP

Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level
DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Communicating between the technical and non- technical (technical architect)

You can translate technical concepts relating to software engineering, delivery management and service management so they are understood by all.

4 – Expert

You can mediate between people and mend relationships, communicating with stakeholders at all levels.

DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Governance and assurance

You can understand technical governance. You can participate in or deliver the assurance of a service

3 – Practitioner

You can evolve and define governance. You can take responsibility for working with and supporting other staff in wider governance. You can assure services across sets of services.

You can use tools such as standards, guardrails and principles to effectively govern delivery.

DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Making and guiding decision

You can make and guide effective decisions, explaining clearly how the decision has been reached. You can understand and resolve technical disputes across varying levels of complexity and risk.

3 – Practitioner

You can make decisions characterised by medium levels of risk and complexity and recommend decisions as risk and complexity increase. You can build consensus between services or independent stakeholders.

DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Strategy

You can produce a strategy for technology that meets business needs. You can create, refine and challenge patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. For this skill, senior roles tend to be more proactive as they set the strategy, whereas junior roles tend to be more reactive, responding to the strategy.

3 – Practitioner

You can define and challenge strategies, patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. You can provide proactive advice and guidance for their definition across the organisation.

DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Turning business problems into technical design

You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. You can create optimal designs through iterative processes, aligning the system requirements and organisational objectives with the user

4 – Expert

You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity.

DDaT » Technical Architecture Technical Architecture – Understanding the whole context

You can look beyond the immediate technical problem and identify the wider implications. You can demonstrate knowledge of the relevant historical context and future impact. You can understand how current work fits in broader contexts and strategies. You can identify deeper underlying problems and

3 – Practitioner

You can understand trends and practices within the broader organisation and how these will impact your work. You can look for deeper underlying problems and opportunities. You can anticipate problems before they occur. You can identify the impact of changes to policy.

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

 

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