Friday, June 16, 2006


Do Enterprise Architects feel the pain of others...

I have met you in meeting rooms, hallways, on conference calls and on the internet. You arrive at your cubicle that you refer to as your "office" in order to convince yourself that what you do actually matters. Every morning you begin your day of work by guzzling gallons of Starbucks coffee as you must be high to want to participate in this game. You have too much to do, lots of meaningless Powerpoint demonstrations to folks who will pretend they get it but really don't. You are watching software developers leave your company in droves and you feel for them but have rationalized away the last ounce of integrity you have...

At conferences you rant that IT executives are idiots and have no clue. You ask for advice as to how you find serenity in your profession. You tell me your personal thoughts on outsourcing and how you believe it to be evil yet you must tote the partyline of how it benefits the business.

For some, you are still savage in the pursuit of finding ethical, creative ways to convince management that forced ranking compensation plans are illogical, destabilize morale and are just plain dumb. No amount of creativity could overcome the fact that it is a stupid idea and does nothing but create an environment of competition, politics and resentment. Whoever sold you on that idea was wrong.

You enlist a very large posse of Kindergartner's from the largest insulting firm on your preferred vendors list who back up the school bus to your enterprise and help you spend millions of dollars on a strategy when you know that architecture isn't the real problem and that culture is. Of course you acknowledge on some level that attempting to change culture is futile.

Now you are off to the next meeting where you will brainstorm the latest IT slogan and provide feedback on posters that promote a new mantra borrowed from another corporation down the street who has already failed at it. But of course, you are smarter than everyone else so you will be successful.

On the way to work, you pick up the local newspaper and read Dilbert. You find Dilbert amusing and then decide to read more but it gets less funny over time. You realize that Dilbert and you have a lot in common. The funny thing is that your boss and your bosses boss are also reading Dilbert and coming to the same conclusion.

In order to get this thought out of your head, you start repeating cliche phrases spewed by industry analysts such as: IT needs to align with the business or in order to guarantee project success, you must find a stakeholder. Over time, you start reflecting on your own personal pain, but have you ever stopped for a minute and consider the pain you have inflicted on others...

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