The Center for the Advancement of Enterprise Architecture as a Profession (CAEAP)
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Membership in professional organizations and societies is always an excellent way to meet and interact with peers in one's profession and line-of-work. Those that I participate in (and some from the past), I have always gained a great deal of knowledge and support, coupled with meeting a lot of interesting, articulate, and intelligent people that I have great relationships with to this day.
Disclaimer: I am a member of CAEAP and the program manager for the 1st Edition of CAEAP's Professional Practice Guide (PPG). My views here are entirely my own, and should not be construed as the policies or statements of CAEAP.
In the summer of 2009, I joined an organization named CAEAP - the Center for the Advancement of Enterprise Architecture as a Profession. This organization is a bit different than others in that it looks at EA and architects from the point of view of professional practice, not specific EA concepts or strategies. In essence - how we practice EA, not what EA is (e.g. frameworks, models, methodologies, IT-centric vs. business issues, etc.).
Professions such as medicine pay a great deal of attention to how a discipline is practiced, not simply assuming that absorption of a body-of-knowledge and the licensing and credentialing of practitioners is sufficient professional practice in and of itself. Norms of professional practice matter just as much as acquisition and deployment of the knowledge-base of any discipline, and CAEAP was founded to establish professional EA norms independent of specific technical bodies of EA knowledge. While this would include the issues and concepts of licensing/credentialing of EAs, it also addresses the issues of competence, ethics, professional responsibilities, continuing education, starting and building an EA practice, and more.
Beyond the CAEAP website and conferences, the organization is currently developing the first edition of the CAEAP Professional Practice Guide (PPG). The primary goal of the PPG is to codify norms of practice for enterprise architects, and position and grow the practice and discipline of enterprise architecture exclusive of any specific EA technical framework or methodology.
In order for enterprise architecture to evolve from its IT roots and deliver value to organizations, attention must be paid to the practice of the discipline, its practitioners both as individuals and groups, and norms of practice that greatly enhance the delivery, and by extension, the long-sought promise of enterprise architecture to organizations embracing it.
If you are an enterprise architect interested in helping define and guide the practice of EA as a profession, the CAEAP PPG project welcomes volunteer contributions to the effort. More information about the project and sign-up can be found here, or send me an e-mail and I will be pleased to give you further information.
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