Misty Woodland

MARTIN SYKES

We know what we are,

but know not what we may be. 

William Shakespeare

 

WHO IS MARTIN SYKES?

Coach, Enterprise Architect, Storyteller & Author

Business Systems & Change Director

In 2018 I started what is known as a portfolio career. Most of the time I work as the Interim Business Systems and Change Director at Team Consulting but now activities that had previously been done on occasion are a core part of the services I provide. That work has three integrated components that have been developed over the last 20 years.

An experienced consultant and coach

While at Microsoft I worked with a great team to develop the materials used by the Microsoft Services strategy & architecture consultants around the world, provided the training, and acted as the coach to many EAs around EMEA. At Cambridge Assessment I continued to build the coaching approach into my working style until finally taking a year to formally learn how to be a coach and completing the ILM level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring.

Technology strategist, enterprise architect & business change leader

I started my working life with a Computing degree and after ten years of leading software development in embedded systems, image processing, and robotics I became the Chief Architect at Glaxo Wellcome Research. At the same time I completed an MBA and began a transition into Strategy and Enterprise Architecture. That was 20 years ago. Along the way I spent time as a tutor for the strategy module on a Technology MBA programme, a leader in the Microsoft Services consulting business for Enterprise Strategy & Architecture teams, and a regular speaker at conferences on the how to be successful as an Enterprise Architect. Today I’m the conference chair for the annual Enterprise Architecture Conference Europe held in London in October.

A storyteller and trainer on visual storytelling techniques

When I first became an EA one of the skills I quickly found I was missing was the ability to communicate effectively to senior management teams and people impacted by change. Over time I learnt the techniques of storytelling and visual design which eventually came together in an approach I regularly delivered in training courses, and eventually captured in the book “Stories That Move Mountains” published in 2012. The book has been translated into French, Turkish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, and Chinese, with the materials continuing to develop into a repeatable technique to create Visual Story Maps to accelerate change programs.

Bringing it all together

Today I use these three components to provide workshops and coaching services focused on the needs of technology leaders, EAs, CTOs and teams implementing digital transformations. Future presentations, workshops and coaching opportunities are listed below.

For a wider employment history and to connect professionally please use LinkedIn.

 

COACHING FOR CHANGE LEADERS

There is no one size fits all approach to helping great people develop further. I focus on individuals and teams in the technology leadership, strategy and architecture roles, where my experience can accelerate our focus on the core issues. My coaching work is typically based on an initial workshop with the individual or team, followed by six monthly coaching sessions. 

But every case is unique, so please contact me to discuss how I can help.

USE STORYTELLING TECHNIQUES TO DELIVER ARCHITECTURE AND CHANGE PROPOSALS.

Half day in-person or on-line workshop.

As technology professionals, we often struggle to get critical messages across. How do we get the level of commitment we need from stakeholders? How can we describe important technical designs and plans without losing our non-technical audience?

We think in narratives all day, whether describing our journey to work, sharing news or explaining what someone did. Storytelling is how we make sense of the world. Our brains are also amazing visual processors, able to handle massive volumes of information by spotting patterns and inferring meaning. The evidence proves that stories trump data when it comes to persuasion, yet many people still believe “the facts” will speak for themselves, and overload audiences with information.


This session will give you a solid grounding in the development of a story structure, helping you to draw out your story in a clear, succinct, compelling form that people want to engage with, comment on and take away to share with colleagues.


·         Structure complex information into compelling change stories

·         Use story frameworks and characters to engage your audience

·         Create communication and reference materials that people interpret consistently

TRANSITIONING TO AN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTURE MANAGER FOR THE TECHNICAL ARCHITECT

Half-day in person or on-line workshop.
Making the transition into an Enterprise Architect or architecture team leadership position for an architect with a technical, solution or infrastructure background can be a daunting experience. Not only do you have to work out how to lead architects, which can make herding cats look easy, there are many new methods and concepts to understand in Business Architecture, Data Architecture and Enterprise Architecture. You do not need to be able to do everything, but you do need to know what is involved and how it all fits together. In this workshop we will introduce some of the common gaps for the technical architect and how these fit together to make a coherent architecture plan that covers all the domains. Key concepts include Business Capability Models, Concept and conceptual models, Benefits Dependency Networks, Value models,  Business/System/Change Roadmaps, and Visualizations of an Enterprise Architecture.

ESTABLISHING OR RENEWING THE PURPOSE AND PRACTICES FOR YOUR ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE TEAM

Full day in-person or on-line workshop
There is no one-size-fits-all design for an Enterprise Architecture team in an organisation. Over the last 20 years I have built and advised dozens of different teams around the world. In this workshop we will look at some of the factors that drive variations in team purpose, structure, and impact, and discuss how to design or update your own EA team. Topics include: putting Enterprise Architecture in context with other activities: strategy; portfolio & project management; business analysis; systems development (agile and waterfall); operations; specialist architecture domains; the role of Enterprise Architecture in Innovation, Governance and Standards; engagement options for the Enterprise Architect (EA as a Service, the internal consultancy, functional team, or planning activity); skills and capabilities of an Enterprise Architect;  demonstrating and delivering value from Enterprise Architecture; how to define, measure and report on Enterprise Architecture value; methodology, processes, templates and tools.

 
Finding your path

“ It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. ”

Isaac Asimov