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    « Your Tax Dollars NOT At Work | Main | Attack of the Enterprise Architecture Luddites »

    Comments

    JT

    Bob,
    Your question: "are we more effective within our organizations as advisors, or as authorities?"
    I think the real answer is neither and both. Neither because we need to be participants and partners in the problem solving with automation that is right sized to the business priorities. Both, because as architects we wear multiple hats. One of them is advisor as to the impact analysis of the scope of business automation be required. The other is authority over the technical aspects of our IT portfolio. Developers and customers need to ask questions we have answers for (or at least know how to get them).

    Joe

    I think the word "enterprise" is completely meaningless. And I fail to see what difference working on a project that has hundreds of millions of dollars available.

    What I've seen people call "enterprise applications" are generally overly-complex, slow, and really hard to modify.

    Scott Mark

    I think the scope comment is very applicable - I happen to appreciate a lot of the disruptive influence that things like Ruby and many Web 2.0 concepts have; they challenge me to re-think my open positions and assumptions. But as far as rushing ahead with them, I point out that moving a large enterprise towards them is like re-tooling a factory line. I think a lot of people who pull out the productivity arguments are thinking about re-tooling craftsmen rather than factories. Not to say it can't be done, or shouldn't be considered, but it's a bigger task than meets the eye.

    There is a definite balance on authority vs. advisor, but I still tip the balance in favor of advisor, and tried to get to that point here- http://scottmark.blogspot.com/2006/02/setting-values-versus-enforcing.html. There are places for authority, but that posture runs the risk of not hearing feedback, and I think that's a big concern. You should earn your foothold with the content of your counsel, not the position of bullhorn.

    Carl Trachte

    "One of the issues that drives these perception problems is that of scope. A typical enterprise architect's scope is much more broad then that of a development team or end-user organization. The development team is concerned about their project, and perhaps projects and systems they may interface directly with - and usually nothing more."

    Something to keep in mind is that the projects and systems these folks work with are, more often than not, components of their companies' core business, which directly impact the bottom line. Whether the core business is service-based or production-based, their job is to make the business successful today. A bad performance over a month or a quarter in today's market can significantly damage or destroy a company's prospects for the future. So why wait 36 months for enterprisey software when there are ways of getting what you need in 2 months or less? IT is a fraction of the production costs - now is better.

    I agree with very little of what you've written. Nonetheless, I appreciate the effort you've made to communicate things from your perspective. The cynical view is that you guys (architect types) are just trying to wrap yourselves in a lot of buzzwords and rake in a lot of cash over a prolonged implementation period. If I may make a suggestion, try communicating to people in the companies you work for in terms of their products and their companies' cash flows rather than the buzzword jargon they (we) often hear.

    Examples of buzzwords: "A new way of doing business", "innovative solutions", "enterprise resources", etc.

    Example of tangible idea: "Your hard work and ideas used in producing successful product X will be lost and unrecognized without this system of managing information and communication within your big corporation."

    or

    "If you don't allow us to protect your information with this system, much of your efforts in making the company successful will have been in vain. Controlling information is, to the success of the company, as important as safety and legal compliance. Help us out."

    Lastly, if you are making obscene amounts of money for your services, please don't flaunt it. People will hate you and your ideas even before you start imposing them.

    Thanks for taking this input into consideration.

    The comments to this entry are closed.