What’s a Community Architect?

Since I started using the phrase Community Architect the other day, I have been trying to figure out how to explain what one is in a pragmatic way. Or, in other words; what do I deliver?; what is my product?

The first thought that has come to mind is that my deliverable to a client is a Community Blueprint. Development of the blueprint would involve several stages which would define the activity of the engagement. The components of the Blueprint (or whatever product name I settle on) will include:

  • Goal definition – A conversation with the Sponsor of the initiative to determine what they are ultimately trying to achieve. Setting of objectives.
  • Environmental assessment – Review of the current situation, internal and external, with respect to the goal and objectives defined
  • Stakeholder engagement – An active process of bringing all stakeholders (or representatives of all stakeholder groups) into the conversation. Stakeholders will begin using light-weight community based tools at this point in order to see and understand first-hand the concepts of community based collaboration.
  • Roadmap Creation – The process by which stakeholders will identify processes, structures and behaviors necessary to meet goal and objectives.
  • Tool selection – The process by which stakeholders identify specific tools, and vendors that will allow the Roadmap to be implemented.
  • Construction – Setting up the tool infrastructure.
  • Habitation – With the tools in place, the process of encouraging use of the community.
  • Final Inspection – Review with the sponsors to confirm that goal and objectives have been met.

If you will notice, this approach does not distinguish between building a community that is fundamentally internal or external to the boundaries of the enterprise. My belief here is that most communities will span that divide, making such distinction irrelevant. But in those cases where a true internal or external community is prescribed, the process should still be valid.


4 Responses

  1. Well put, I like your structure. Your deliverables are not unlike mine on a strategic engagement but I think your language is thoughtful enough to move things forward. Seems that the logical next step is to look at the specifics within the language of urban planners.

    I have gone by web architect for a few years now- it seems the right name when it comes to planning dynamic communication.

  2. Articulate framing of the process, about which have little formal knowledge.

    It would be interesting to map a relative time scale to the steps, and degree of overlap. For example, Habitation and Final Inspection might reiterate so that data from Final Inspection might feedback into Habitation or even as far back as Construction. That is I see Final Inspection as a potentially ongoing process.

  3. David

    Thanks for the advice. I will look into the “language of urban planners”, never thought of that as a model.metaphor. I like it.


    Exactly what I have in mind, just didn’t think it was critical to this post though I do want to add those details as I go along.


  4. Nice metaphor, although I’ll have to ask my civil engineer dad about the use of “road map” for an architectural project. How about the permits/licensing (legalities) phase or is that part of the road map processes?

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