If you elect me as president, I promise to...

If you elect me as president, I promise to...

Posted on August 22, 2007 0 Comments

John Soat's (Information Week) question "What's the first thing a CIO should do?" got me thinking. "What's the first thing I would do if I started a new job as SOA President?"

I've broken out of my scifi addiction recently to read biographies of leaders. As a result, Rudy Giuliani has really impacted the way I think of SOA Management. In his book "Leadership," he discussed a program he implemented to improve the police department called Compstat (see wiki).

Compstat is an accountability process combined with a management philosophy that ultimately led to better policing.

Accountability, management, and policing. Hey, that sounds like SOA Management!

Here's what I'd do as SOA President:

  1. I'd decide what objectives are important. For an SOA, good places to start are reuse, agility, cost of ownership. I wouldn't worry about getting every measure, I can do more later, but I need to start somewhere and these three would do.
  2. Then, I'd figure out how to measure them. It's not strict science here either. Get close, and get going. Improve it if you must... later. Get something that gets people talking now. Rudy and the NYPD started with just a handful of statistics, not all of which were even consistent across precincts.
  3. Once I'm able to measure, I'd improve them. And, I'm able to motivate people in the right direction, because I know how to measure their progress...

Clearly, I'd improve over time, and socializing the "process" and getting buy-in would take a big effort up front. But, having the numbers behind me would make the benefits of SOA indisputable.

I know, I know. I make it sound SOA easy.

SOA What? You know, when Rudy first started, a lot of police thought you couldn't measure real policing... However, years later, I live in a city that's safer than it's been in a long time. Remember, you can't possibly know where you're going if you don't know where you are. If you don’t think you can measure an SOA's success, think again. It's where you need to start.

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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