Principal Domain Architect
In a nutshell
Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest retailers is investing heavily in digital innovation - its aim being to build a centre of excellence where digital output is crafted using industry leading best practice frameworks and methodologies to produce world class applications and services. The Digital & Technology (D&T) team is looking for talented colleagues to help deliver ambitious and market-leading services that live up to Sainsbury’s industry-leading reputation.
The Architecture roles enable the creation of new capability for the organisation, whilst managing the risk it presents. We are looking for a Principal Domain Architect to lead the Architecture team across the Internal IT domain, defining and developing the internal IT architecture, and leading a team of domain and solution architects and software engineers. You’ll be someone who loves to make things happen, who can communicate complex technical issues in a clear manner, who can work at the detailed level but also see the bigger picture, and be someone passionate about identifying and delivering simple solutions to complex problems.
As a member of the Internal IT leadership team at Sainsbury’s, you will be a key part of shaping the future of the organisation and driving innovation in the retail sector.
The role calls for a strong communicator, able to facilitate workshops and conversations with senior leadership, influencing the product roadmap and approach.
- Acts as a recognised leader in the D&T Division and wider Sainsbury’s organisation advocating our Technology vision and ensuring alignment to our business goals
- Leads a team of Architecture professionals in delivering our technology vision
- You will be a design authority on projects ensuring adherence to the Enterprise Architecture and the IT Roadmap
- You will be responsible for defining and setting direction in the creation of architectures for programmes and projects
What I need to do
- The Principal Domain Architect will lead the Internal IT domain team, supporting the broader architecture practice and other Principal Architects, enabling the Internal IT programme to deliver and communicate the Internal IT architecture and strategy for the domain and broader enterprise over the next 1-3 years, which is agreed and bought-into by the relevant stakeholders within the organisation (principally within the Digital & Technology division), aligning with the Internal IT product roadmap.
- As a Principal Domain Architect you will be a recognised architecture expert in your domain with suitable industry experience and have overall accountability for the following in the area:
- Contribute to, and drive the adoption of principles, patterns, standards and guidelines that direct the selection, development, implementation and use of technology across the Internal IT domain.
- Identify the technical and business risks in architectural or technology decisions and roadmaps.
- Identify, assess and apply new and emerging technologies to IT roadmaps and designs, sharing with the broader team.
- Ensure investments are made which best support the commercial requirements of Sainsbury’s.
- Support Domain and Solution Architects by providing advice on solution options and designs.
- Ensure the Digital & Technology (D&T) roadmap is understood within the D&T Division and across relevant Business Units.
- Educate and influence other leaders with regard to technical options and associated benefit or risk.
- Oversee architects working on large or complex programmes/projects to:
- Provide direction and guidance on projects ensuring adherence to the standards and the Internal IT Roadmap
- Provide an escalation route and overarching design authority role ensuring that detailed designs and solutions delivered align across programmes and with the broader strategy.
- Manage and resolve any issues as they arise, escalating to overarching governance forums where required.
- Act as the escalation route for more junior architects to help resolve design issues
- Develop strong working relationships with suppliers to ensure mutual understanding of roadmaps, drive the innovation agenda, and ensure relevancy of our architecture
- Keeping abreast with developments in the IT industry and retail market space to ensure that the architectures are kept in line with industry standard and only deviate for commercial benefit. Co-ordinate the identification and assessment of new and emerging technologies and promote awareness among colleagues and the wider business.
- Has line management responsibility for C4/C5 Architects. This involves:
- Coaching and mentoring junior grades that are direct and indirect reports.
- Training and developing capability within the team.
- Ensuring adherence to while applying judgement to formal policies and procedures.
- Performance Management.
- Communication and engagement with team and stakeholders.
How I will succeed
- Work effectively across the D&T and Sainsbury’s to understand and reconcile conflicting concerns of different stakeholders.
- Contribute to, and drive the adoption of patterns and standards, building our library of repeatable solutions.
- Provision of timely architectural insight to relevant projects and initiatives.
- Solutions delivered fit with the Internal IT Roadmap and adhere to the defined Enterprise Architecture standards.
- Engagement levels with projects is at or above agreed capitalisation rate.
- Demonstrable participation in the development of the Sainsbury’s Internal IT Roadmap.
- Progress made towards the achievement of the target architecture.
- Support other architects by providing advice on solution options and designs.
- With Project Management support, lead and direct a team to deliver solutions on time, to budget that meet the desired business outcomes.
- Manage and develop a team of Architects to meet their full potential within Sainsbury’s.
What I need to know
- Maintain an up-to-date understanding of the main technology base, and a general understanding of the other technology bases which together form the overall technical direction
- Keeps abreast with developments in the IT industry and retail market space
- Demonstrable knowledge of the IT and retail marketplace & trends
- Proven track record and experience as a recognised domain architect on major programs of work
- Proficient in methods and techniques for structured reviews, including reviews of non-functional requirements, technical documents, test plans, business cases and other key deliverables.
- Recognised Professional Certification such as BCS or IEE certification and Architectural recognition form an external body such as TOGAF or the BCS is desirable.
- Experience of IT Architecture (and underlying frameworks such as TOGAF) including the development (and ensuring adherence to) Architecture principles and standards.
What I need to show
- Focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past and ensure resources (money, time and people) are utilised as effectively as possible.
- Recognise the importance of the customer through creating opportunities to talk to customers on a wide scale (highlighting the Internal IT team’s successes) and supporting/enabling decisions to be made based on customer feedback, insights and trends.
- Effective conceptualisation, pattern recognition and design skills.
- Presentation and facilitation skills.
- Ability to assess rapidly changing technologies and apply them to business needs.
- Strong communication and persuasion skills, including the ability to create marketing and messaging materials that meet stakeholder requirements.
- Ability to remain unbiased to specific technologies or vendors, providing an objective and fact-based viewpoint.
- Business domain and process understanding abilities.
- Ability to translate the relevant architectural contribution to business outcomes into briefings and materials which can be consumed, shared and communicated by senior leadership or other roles.
- Ability to quickly gain the confidence of the business and colleagues through good communication and influencing skills, simplifying complex technical messages.
- Demonstrable aptitude for logical thinking.
- Energises and leads the team through enabling them to see how their work impacts the business results and ensuring they remain informed on relevant business information.
- Ability to analyse project, programme, and product family needs, to determine resource needs, objectives, and overcome cross-functional barriers.
- Demonstrate the ability to work well with others and be respected as a leader.
- Be an excellent communicator and collaborator across multiple technical and business stakeholders and leaders.
- Significant experience of designing solutions that operate on the core technologies in use within Sainsbury’s or similar organisations
- Proven ability to design or architect flexible, reliable, supportable, cost effective (packaged and bespoke) IT solutions
- Demonstrable experience in IT Industry standards, services, design, architecture principles design, architecture views and viewpoint design, building block design, solutions modelling and systems behaviour
Resources available to me
- Other architects for expert advice.
- Third party contractors and vendors.
- External independent information sources.
- Supplier conferences and trade shows.
- Training and development materials and initiatives (both internal and external).
What decisions I can make
- Sign-off Solution Outlines, and Designs.
- Review Business Requirements.
- Recommendations on principles, standards and strategies to be ratified by Design Authority and D&T Leadership.
- Propose strategic direction for the Internal IT area.
- Sign off (accountable/responsible) for:
- Architectural elements of the Technology Roadmap for the domain
- Design and architectural solutions for projects and programmes impacting domain