A business architect is responsible for implementing successful strategies in an organization or company. This type of architect does not work with literal blueprints and plans or in an architectural office. Instead, the commercial architect is a modern architect who must be able to visualize several different elements of an enterprise and make them all work together cohesively. He or she must also be able to think in futuristic terms and determine the direction in which the business is headed. Allen Woo, a business management expert, explains how this person’s role can positively impact the success of a business.
Commercial architects can work as full-time employees or contractors. Most organizations need an ongoing business architect or project architect.
The architect identifies, plans, and acts on strategies that will be most beneficial to the organization. Areas of improvement typically touched upon by the business architect include organizational health, structural problems, untapped opportunities and a competitive marketplace. Commercial architects work with companies that have conflicting economic and political concerns and attempt to develop these problems with unified solutions so that employees can perform at higher levels.
“Commercial architects work closely with employees and managers to first understand the culture of the company,” Woo explains. “In addition, external personnel, including vendors, consultants, strategy and research groups, and experts, will often be consulted. The enterprise architect is always responsible for keeping the company’s leaders and managers abreast of the changes he or she plans to implement.”
Within an organization, the commercial architect acts as an intermediary between employees in specific departments and the strategy team. The architect must pay attention to the changes desired by employees and discuss them with the strategy team to determine their plausibility. Any employee can propose new ideas for running the business, and the architect should listen carefully to these suggestions and explore the possibility of their implementation with the strategy team.
When companies rely on commercial architects, communication at all levels improves. Involvement and feedback from different members of the corporation lead to a higher level of business, making both employees and supervisors happy. However, a career as a commercial architect requires a great deal of research. When suggestions are made, it is up to the architect to determine if they might actually work.
Commercial architects are also responsible for preparing and presenting business plans on a variety of topics, such as approval, financing, development, and resource management.
“A successful commercial architect must be innovative and should not mind making discoveries by trial and error,” suggests Woo. “He or she should also be a people person and something of a natural peacemaker since a primary function is to create harmony in the office environment.”
Commercial architects generally work in relatively new firms but are also found in joint ventures, newly merged firms, firms undertaking radical projects, and spin-offs.
Because complex projects require coordination among many professionals, architects must communicate well. In the same way, architects need to be able supervise subcontractors and contractors involved in construction. They are skilled in problem solving, decision making, team leadership, maintaining creativity, and continuous learning.
The required experience and education of a commercial architect vary among countries and fields. Generally, the commercial architect is a highly skilled individual with a university degree in architecture, engineering, or building design.
With the ubiquity of computers, hand-drawn designs are largely disfavored. As a result, the modern commercial architect is often skilled in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, and knows how to use building information modeling (BIM) technology to create design plans, specifications, and drawings.