Thursday, January 12, 2006
Thoughts on Architects' named James
It is amazing that you can use the word kill in a corporate environment but only in this context. You would be politically incorrect for suggesting the killing of legacy systems or practices that don't support Strong Technical Leadership. Maybe I can convince James that using the word kill should only be attached to non-living entities such as software, heavyweight processes and comprehensive documentation. I never asked him if he was a hunter or even a member of a noble organization such as the NRA. Why would anyone have the desire to kill a bird, much less two birds?
Many times this phrase is used by management who are delusional and think that they can make long term architecture oriented decisions without actually have a scintilla of knowledge about architecture. While sometimes this approach is needed, after all we believe that architects should design like they were retiring, but can at times forget an important detail before they depart for better pastures.
I wonder when James reads this blog entry will he smile if I enquire as to whether the person he was thinking about at the time used the phrase: It's got to be cheaper.... Maybe, what he needs as a tool in his toolbox isn't slick corporate phrases but the notion of a universal antidote. In dictionary terms, this is called "Panacea".
I know what he really means is the ability to achieve multiple goals with a single effort. If he practices any form of architecture to do so, he will already be a believer in the notion of patterns and encourage everyone to communicate in terms of them. He will also encourage synergistic relationships to be formed. Let's list four truths regarding synergies:
- Synergy is not the automatic goal of individuals (aka "lets go around the table") except for those who truly don't add any value.
- Myopia can happen with individuals who go around the table. Likewise, concentration on a project can often blind one of the total picture. Hence my continued thought that Enterprise Architects should not only know how to code but should periodically do so on multiple in-flight projects.
- Synergism can exist with appropriate concentration of people. This is different than the corporate practice of representation.
- Synergism occurs based on proximity, healthy tension and adherence to basic principles. Hence, outsourcing for the most part is guaranteed to fail (and potentially destroy the enterprise) because creating synergy here is all but impossible.
Synergism almost never exists in the enterprise due to luck but does happen on occasion due to planning. Observing and classifying trends into "patterns" not only allows an enterprise to kill two birds with one stone, it demands strong technical leadership...
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