Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Enterprise Architecture and Metrics...

Many enterprises are starting to collect metrics around enterprise architecture which leads to the Hawthorne Effect that notes the tendency of humans to temporarily improve their performance when they are aware it is being studied. Having read several industry analyst reports around this practice, I wonder if most enterprises are entering a rathole...

The factors that are easiest to measure or most visible are the ones that get the most attention, regardless of their importance in comparison to other factors.

In Soviet Russia there is a story of a shoe factory that was pressured to increase production, as measured by quantity of shoes produced. However, the factory was a bit short on materials. So to increase production, the factory decided to produce more children's shoes, which require less material. Eventually there was a severe shortage of adult shoes, especially larger sizes. However, the factory was meeting its production goals on paper.

Hopefully every architect will not use a measure just because it's easy and correlates with what you want, but instead try to measure as directly as possible or at least try to recognize/acknowledge the bias of your method.

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