By Alex Bennett, Firebrand Training
Achieving the TOGAF® certification is a significant milestone for over 70,000 Enterprise Architects around the world. And rightly so: the TOGAF standard, an Open Group standard, is one of the most widely-adopted Enterprise Architecture certifications. But for the best, learning never stops.
Recently, Enterprise Architecture (EA) has shot up the skills shortage list in 2017’s HarveyNash & KMPG survey as the fastest growing of skills that are “most scarce”. For TOGAF certified professionals to make the most of these in-demand skills, knowledge must be kept up-to-date.
Becoming a TOGAF certified professional marks years of experience and requires months of studying to pass the two challenging TOGAF exams. You may even have invested in TOGAF training to boost your knowledge. So, why slow down your momentum after getting your TOGAF certification?
Getting certified may be a focal point on your journey as an Enterprise Architect, but it doesn’t have to be your final destination. This is what you should do to keep your skills sharp.
Learn from the best
A mentor or coach can pay dividends and learning from a senior Enterprise Architect is an excellent way to leverage their expertise, learn from their success (or failures) and receive guidance to improve your knowledge.
Consider seeking a mentor inside your organisation. If you don’t have access to one, there are a number of industry experts you could be learning from. Consider following or reaching out to these EA experts for advice and guidance:
Social media is a great platform to engage the industry’s experts, but for in-depth insight, blogs are invaluable. The Open Group offers their library and this blog with a range of content from experts, events and announcements.
For in-depth content, take a look at The Enterprise Architects blog, featuring great articles from a wide range of contributing experts.
Join the EA community
Whether online or in-person, there are thousands of Enterprise Architecture communities across the globe. Becoming a member of The Open Group is your starting point to join them.
The Open Group Membership gives organisations access to forums and workgroups, where professionals can network, collaborate and learn. Covering a range of technical, business, legal, and regulatory topics, every Open Group forum addresses a unique functional area which is fully supported by additional resources. Sign up to join The Open Group Architecture Forum here.
Another global EA community you should explore is AEA (Association of Enterprise Architects).
Read EA case studies
Reading case studies is an excellent way of continuing to build and expand your Enterprise Architecture knowledge after TOGAF certification.
The Open Group features many comprehensive TOGAF case studies on their website. It may not be light reading, but the stories here are valuable. Study how the Architecture Development Methodology was applied to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) or how the TOGAF framework was applied to the gigantic, Hong Kong based Dairy Farm Group.
Plus, Enterprise Architects in the education sector may find themselves in luck with this list of EA project case studies undertaken across UK universities.
Attend industry events
Enterprise Architecture events run regularly across the world – from massive conventions and summits to local meetings. Continue to build your TOGAF knowledge by learning from the industry’s best and brightest as you sit in on talks and network with like-minded professionals.
The Open Group hosts regular events across the world and upcoming dates are listed on their events page. There’s also the massive Gartner Enterprise Architecture & Technology Innovation Summit which takes place annually in London.
If you can’t make it in person, The Open Group runs vendor-neutral webinars for members. Register for upcoming webinars now, or visit the Publications page for an archive of past events. There’s also a regularly-updated YouTube channel from The Open Group including talks from dozens of industry experts.
Don’t stand still
The industry is constantly in flux and, if you’re not learning, you could be falling behind. TOGAF certification is an important step in your career, but it’s crucial to stay active and keep moving beyond your certification.
Alex Bennett has worked at the forefront of Enterprise Architecture training for four years in his role at Firebrand Training, an accredited provider of TOGAF® certification.