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I am currently preparing to take the Microsoft Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect certification. Or “MB 600” for short! As I prepare I plan to write revision notes in this post I will discuss the Solution Architect’s role.
Solution Architect’s Role
Before we dive into solution planning it might be useful to consider the overall role of a solutions architect and what qualities they will be expected to bring to the planning process and onward into the wider project.
The Solution Architect will be a functional and technical expert who will effectively own the solution and its design.
Whilst it is right for us to consider the solution architect as the owner of the solution. Don’t forget that they are part of a team which will include many other members. Including program / project management plus many functional and technical staff. A few possible roles for team members are shown below. In my opinion it is important to be aware of these roles but also be mindful that in real-world projects the exact roles and mix of team members can vary from project to project.
In the largest organizations the Solution Architect may need to collaborate with other Architect roles. For example, Enterprise Architects maybe responsible for defining the “bigger picture”. They will help ensure the systems being envisioned by the Solution Architects are designed to fit within broader organization plans / roadmaps.
The Program or Project Manager will no doubt be the formal head of the overall project. But it is often the Solution Architect who is looked on by the team members as the “real” leader. They need to set an example to the rest of the project team and serve as a role model and mentor. The Solution Architect often sets the tone for the rest of the team, a positive lead will result in a positive team!
The Solution Architect is often thought of as a trusted advisor who consults with the customer and implementation team members to refine business needs into a well-defined and cost-effective solution.
In gathering business requirements (in fact in all aspects of a project) the Solution Architect will need to demonstrate a high level of “soft skills”. These could include;
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