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Overview: What does a Solution Architect do? In deference to traditional deliverable-based architect role definitions, Solution Architecting spans the SDLC. While SAs are responsible for some deliverables, they primarily configure the required building blocks of the working product. They make transparent a myriad of tough decisions, encourage stakeholder collaboration, break deadlock and resolve difficult issues. SAs have a "line of sight" from ideation through implementation. Figure 1 summarizes the major processes by Project Management Institute (PMI) function where an SA could have the greatest impact.
This white paper offers a brief, practical Solution Architect role definition in terms of the PMI PMBOK knowledge areas. The reader's familiarity with PMI knowledge areas and process groups is assumed and Capco's suggestions on optimizing current project management practices follow.