Posted by Mike Rollings
Seems like a simple direction to follow... (more on that in a moment).
I am in Europe visiting several Burton Group clients. The meetings are great since our clients are interested in many different topics -- some of topics include:
- How can we create a strategic plan for a domain that the business cares about?
- How do we start an enterprise architecture program in a massively federated organization?
- What can be done to understand and communicate enterprise architecture value?
- How do we improve our portfolio management approach for applications?
Time flies when you have engaged conversations and get to exchange ideas with so many types of organizations, industries, cultures and individuals. I love this part of the job -- client interaction!
Okay, so back to the directions. These seem like simple dirctions to follow -- except when you are in Amsterdam! But it reminded me about the way we communicate standards, patterns and other architecture preferences to the teams responsible for implementing those standards.
There I was at midnight dragging my luggage from the train station to my hotel. I picked the nearest of many canals - every one had buildings next to it. I walked in what became a big circle till I was back at the beginning again. I figured I would just go back to the beginning and see if the directions made better sense to me since I had seen every canal in the immediate vicinity. I decided to ditch the directions and do my own thing. I found the hotel, but I was very frustrated. The beginning of the street was next to a canal, but not the length of it. "If only the directions included these couple of facts, I would have gotten here in one-quarter of the time!"
Architects need to assure that the directions for using standards are not like my directions to the hotel. They need to be tested with the implementation community for clarity. They need a resource to call when they get lost. They need to be able to select the route that best meets their needs in as little time as possible. If not, they will get frustrated, do their own thing, and undermine the use of standards. Sure they will get to a solution, but it will take more time and won't be the route the organization wants them to take.