Monday, January 30, 2006
Outstanding questions for enterprise architects who blog
Here are eight questions I would love to see answered by architects from corporate America who blog:
- Blogging: You folks blog and participate in the blogosphere. Have you ever encouraged your boss to blog? If not, would you mind sharing the reasons?
- Strong Technical Leadership: Do you think strong technical leadership is a predictor of success within an enterprise architecture discipline?
- Healthy Tension: Blogger James Tarbell believes that an architect and project manager have somewhat opposing goals which creates healthy tension. Do you believe that healthy tension is frequently practised between enterprise architecture groups and program management? If not, what do you think should occur to increase the amount of healthy tension?
- Governance: Many bloggers get it twisted and are of the belief that governance is all about process. If one were to look up the word in the dictionary it is more indicative of behavior than process. Has anyone ran across any large enterprises that have true governance processes that measure behavior? If so, what are their best practices?
- Project Management Professionals: Just because someone may report into the "IT" organization doesn't make them an IT professional. A business analyst can be in an IT organization or in the business organization. Likewise, a project manager and their skills are not really IT, they are project management. A project management discipline is equally applicable to construction, restaurant catering or sanitation work. If you were for a moment believe in the refined defition I am using, is IT really shrinking? I kinda believe that IT jobs are not being lost to outsourcing, just jobs of folks in IT organizations.
- Government Enterprise Architecture: One can acknowledge that the Federal government is probably the largest practitioner of enterprise architecture. It is wonderful that they have an act of congress: The Clinger-Cohen Act mandating enterprise architecture on all parts of government. Likewise, it seems as if their enterprise architecture is more about creating rigorous process and comprehensive documentation that no one actually reads. Does the folks in the OMB actually track ROI on EA efforts? Do folks that practice federal EA ever consider seeking advice from folks who practice it in corporate America?
- IT/Business Alignment: This is a popular phrase in many magazines. I am curious if others have a mental model to know when this can be taken too far. If everyone is busy aligning with the business, who is paying attention to technology?
- Open Source: While I have on numerous occasions shared my own personal thoughts on open source, I am curious if others believe that enterprise architects have a fidicuary duty to represent all forms of software as potential solutions within their enterprise and not just closed-source commercial offerings? Open source of course can be about free (in terms of price) software but I refuse to limit myself to this kindergartner level of thinking. Open source is also a model for software development. Could open source as an agile method enable agility?
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