Friday, August 31, 2007

Linking EA value to operational needs - A two step process

1. Help make the pain go away.
2. Goto 1.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Psychopaths, Bullies,

Andy Blumenthal has an interesting post Psychopaths and Enterprise Architecture, referencing the book Snakes in Suits by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.

In so many words, Andy raises the possibility that EA can/should play a role in reducing the impact of psychopaths on corporate decision making. Without a doubt, there is much more EA can do to improve the landscape.

It's an unfortunate fact that some of the same characteristics that make for great leadership and those manifested by psychopaths often present the same outward appearance. This is an important point worth pondering for a moment.

Sadly, the topic of workplace psychopaths is rarely discussed in Corporate America. The issue ranges from seemingly benign bullying to full psychopathic behavior. I'm not sure I have the answer except to say that education and awareness are an important first step.

Workplace bullying has a basic introduction, but the topic is deep and complex.

Here are couple links that might also be helpful.

And yes, I've seen the boogeyman.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tower of IT Babel

It easy to admonish IT for speaking techno-babble to its customers.

This admonishment is generally deserved, but I submit that it's symptomatic of a much deeper problem. We exhibit the same problem within our IT disciplines - SOA blahblah, SAN fabric blahblah, abstract factory blahblah, delivery management blahblah... (and don't even ponder the acronyms)

There are a variety of reasons for our need to create specialized languages, but the most compelling could the need to compress complicated concepts for efficient internal communications.

By itself, this tendency to compress communications does not create a problem. Combine this with a strong tendency at specialization, however, and you have a recipe for communication problems between disciplines. No surprise here, but it doesn't stop here. Combine this with the need for cross-discipline solutions and you have a recipe for systemic failure.

The languages of our disciplines create barriers to communication even within IT. Our Tower of IT Babel has reached a stunning level - a gravity-defying marvel of modern thought.

Architects, in my opinion, are a critical element in any hope of a solution. We have a critical opportunity to add value by formulating frameworks and models for normalized communication between multi-discipline aggregations of carbon-based message queuing systems!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

RSS and the Law of Software Envelopment

Email vs RSS Feeds provides a feature comparison between the two technologies.

I don't completely agree with the comparison, but no matter. I have a different take:

Law of Software Envelopment

Any reason to believe this doesn't apply to RSS?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Enterprise Architecture and IT Teams

The posting Actionable Enterprise Architecture through Feedback by Nick Malik is a nice writeup on the value of feedback between EA and IT teams. The core concept is simple - both parties need to operate in a feedback loop. Nick provides three examples of loops worth developing. The article is well worth a read.

What's at stake? How about an answer in the form of two questions:

Would you want an architect to build your house?
Would you like the construction crew to architect it?
And yes, I normally dislike resorting to a comparison between building architecture and enterprise architecture, but it does have its uses.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Move My Data

The world needs something like Move My Data.

From the web site:

Your content and data should be yours to manage and do with as you please. Your images, writing, tags, profile, blog entries, comments, testimonials, video, and music should be yours to download and move anyplace you want.
Imagine being able to manage your online content from a master application on your desktop. Imagine being able to multi-publish, synchronize, or republish your data across multiple web sites.

The project seems stale, but the world needs something like this...

(and don't even get me going on the topic of social network portability)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

As a followup to the preceding posting,

The following post from Andy Blumenthal provides a hint at a healthier alternative to 'best practices'.
User-Centric Enterprise Architecture: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Enterprise Architecture

The posting isn't an exact fit, but it does connect the two primary dots. Maslow and EA.

Importance is relative. Best practices tend to be applied indiscriminately.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Architecture Antipattern: 'Best Practices

Enterprise Architecture: From Incite comes Insight...: Enterprise Architecture: So, exactly what is a best practice?

Kindred view on 'best practices' from James McGovern.

It's often like a lazy jazz lick when the soloist is stuck for an idea.

Architecture Antipattern: Best Practices
If you can't formulate a sound business case, resort to the phrase 'best practices'.

Technorati Food

Technorati Profile

Blog Retitle

Well, I've decided to rename the blog. No earth shattering reasons - just a broadening of scope.

What good is an endeavor if you can't tolerate a little scope creep. :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aloof enough for you?