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A SOA Blessing in Disguise

A SOA Blessing in Disguise

November 16, 2007 0 Comments

I guess I'm full of BS commentary on this SOA as a Corporate Responsibility topic!  One of the comments on my original post stated:

"And the sad thing is, that it is EXACTLY this tendency to channel the strong resources to the most "urgent" short-term ROI-focused tactical projects that has left the concept of "Enterprise Architecture" struggling to gain a stronghold."

If it wasn't obvious from the title of this post, I have an entirely opposite view on this.  The "tendency to channel the strong resources to the [tactical projects]" is a blessing for an enterprise architect trying to drive a SOA initiative, not a curse.

It's the "weak" resources that we will focus on today and ignore tomorrow.  By involving the "strong" resources in those reprehensible "urgent" short-term ROI-focused tactical projects, you get a triple whammy of benefits:

  • The tactical projects get completed more quickly - giving you a "win" you can hold up for your SOA initiative.
  • With hands-on assistance, the "strong" resources can ensure that the project is done in-line with the longer term SOA infrastructure goals (as much as is reasonable within the constraints of the project) - balancing the current and future needs more effectively.
  • The "strong" resources can hands-on mentor the "weak" resources to learn to think in the longer term SOA frame of mind - so on subsequent projects they are proponents of "the SOA way".

The project team's goal is only the first of these. But, your goals need to be all three, whether the project team knows it or not.  Don't lose sight of this.  As an enterprise architect, you can think of this as turning your enemy's strength against them.  "The CIO wants the best resources in the organization to help out with your project?  Absolutely, we'd love to.  All we care about is your success."

Once you get the ball rolling, you're showing SOA success, and other teams want to use the "SOA approach that's making all the other projects successful," you need to wean your team off the "strong" resources of this role-up-your-sleeves, hands-on role (by making it repeatable).  But, that's a champagne problem.

dan foody

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