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Solution architect vs project manager

I have a friend who works at Ericsson and he told me that the solution architect role is at the same level as the project manager. In other words, a solution architect does not report to the PM? So who does he report to? And which one of the two roles is more important (and more paid) in the project?
asked 8 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

The project manager is more paid than the solution architect. In such a corporate environment (which is a very complex hierarchy), the project manager reports to the PMO, and the solution architect reports to his line manager (the solution architect does NOT report to the project manager). The solution architect designs the system to be installed at the client's premises, the solution integrator implements and integrates the system at the client's premises. The solution integrator reports technically to the solution architect, and also reports to the project manager when it comes to the project, and, of course, to his line manager.

The project manager manages the integration of the project on site.

In case of a problem during the integration (that may be resulting from an unstable system), the solution architect is called in to fix the problem on site.

How do I know all these things? I have worked with Ericsson people before and I know their hierarchy by heart.
answered 8 years ago by anonymous
Having worked as a Solution Architect for many years, I would answer the question this way.

It is not relevant who reports to who, they are part of a multifunctioning team whose task is to deliver on the intent of the stakeholder requesting change.

The Solution Architect looks after capabilities related to design, the PM after capabilities related to Manage.

I think one of the biggest issues occurs when the roles cross into each other without clear understanding of what is occuring. If a PM makes design decisions and a Solution Architect makes manage decisions, this creates "Noise" if it is done without clear understanding of what is occuring.

In my experience, the technology environment we now live in is far too complex for a single person to deal with manage and design on any project of scale, smaller ones may get away with it, but a PM does NOT need design skills (they may have them), but they do not NEED them.
7 years ago by anonymous

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