Monday, January 09, 2006

 

Enterprise Architecture: Design like you were retiring...

A very wise architect at work named James has a poster on his desk that talks about the notion of: design like you were retiring. Of course depending upon one's constitution and ability this can be subject to interpretation. Figuring that me and him think differently but are highly compatible, I would take a shot at taking his phrase and casting it into my own thinking.

Last week, I blogged on Why Enterprise Architects shouldn't consider themselves professionals and now have some additional thoughts I would love to share...



Real professionals get sued! Imagine how our behavior would change if we were actually held liable for the architectures delivered to the business community. Specifications for software development projects would get very clear and would have to be signed off by the users and/or business sponsor (believe this may break agile approaches but not sure). Likewise, introducing the notion of getting sued may stop outsourcing!

The reason that outsourcing would come to a crashing halt is that the legal principle in international law allows for monetary damages to be awarded in the amount deemed sufficient of the country of the user not where it was developed. In the building trades, a structural engineer can get sued if they don't take reasonable approaches to ensuring that the bridge they design doesn't fall down. They have the added pressure of that their failure will be televised.

Comparing this structural engineer to the many enterprise architects that flood the corridors of corporations, they are too busy not only not validating their design but instead spending time figuring out the optimal color to paint the bridge, theorizing on whether they could spking using welders to ensure the steel is properly joined and whether they could cut costs by simply hiring electricians and running them through a bootcamp (after all, the similarities in a welder and electrician is that they both deal with some form of metal and turning screws) and figuring out how to take other shortcuts. Maybe bridges shouldn't be built from scratch and instead we should have an annual recycling day where all the residents of an area contribute parts. My son thinks that his can of Play-Doh may make a good road!



I wonder if this what James meant by design like you were retiring...




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