January 7, 2008

CEOs and COOs – Enterprise Architecture has Elements of Both

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or chief executive, is the highest-ranking corporate officer, administrator, corporate administrator, executive, or executive officer, in charge of total management of a corporation, company, organization or agency.

A Chief Operating Officer or Chief Operations Officer (COO) is a corporate officer responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the corporation. The COO is one of the highest ranking members of an organization, monitoring the daily operations of the company and reporting to the Board of Directors. The COO is usually an executive or senior vice president. (Wikipedia)

The Wall Street Journal, 22 October 2003, reports in an article entitled “A Different Animal Seeks the No. 1 Post; Often It’s Not No. 2” that the CEO and COO are very different “animals.”

CEOs have the vision and strategize; COOs manage day-to-day operations.

  • “The very talents that make a great chief operating officer—like finicky attention to detail—can get in the way when you are in the top seat. CEO’s are supposed to strategize, not micromanage.”

CEOs are outer-directed; COOs are inward-focused.

  • COOs “jobs focus them inward on the company’s problems, while CEOs spend much of their time convincing outsiders of the company’s strengths.”

CEOs function in the public eye; COOs play behind the scenes.

  • “CEOs talk about getting acclimated to the limelight. Chief operating officers say they are used to working behind the scenes and submerging their egos.”

CEOs are the company cheerleaders; COOs are more gruff and forbidding.

  • “It’s vital that a CEO consistently project a positive attitude to help keep up morale. In the No. 2 role, it was OK ‘to be more curmudgeonly.’”

User-centric EA is a hybrid of the CEO and the COO:

  • Functionally—EA is more like the CEO, in that it is strategic-focused and visionary in terms of new technologies, business process improvement, and setting the target state and transition plan.
  • Directedness—EA has elements of the CEO and COO. Like the COO, it looks internally to establish the as-is and to-be states of the organization based on capabilities, competencies, and strategies. However, like the CEO it looks externally to glean best practices and benchmarks.
  • Publicity—EA is like the CEO in being in the corporate public eye, advocating for enhanced IT planning and sound governance based on architecture principles and informed decision-making. At the same time, EA is like the COO, working behind the scenes with leaders and subject matter experts to capture pertinent information, analyze, categorize, and serve it up to the end-users.
  • Cheerleading—EA is like the CEO, a cheerleader for mission execution and results of operation, business process improvement, information sharing and accessibility, applications interoperability, technology standards, and confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy. EA is also like the COO gruff and to the point; taking EA information and using it to support incremental and transformative change initiatives.


No comments: