Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Governance and the miseducation of enterprise architects...

Only if more enterprise architects were prior military...

Most branches of the United States Government when it comes to enterprise architecture are dysfunctional and lack leadership (They have an aweful lot of management though). The one branch that gets the notion of both leadership and enterprise architecture is the Marines. In fact, they don't get it twisted and understand that governance is more about behavior and less about financial controls.

The Marine Corps battle the analysis paralysis that today's governance practices encourage with the notion of a 70% solution. If you have 70% of the information, have done 70& of the analysis and feel 70% confident, then act. The logic is simple: less-than-ideal action, swiftly executed stands a better change of success, whereas no action stands no chance. The worst decision is no decision at all. As the folks from the Connecticut lottery say, you can't win if you don't play.

If you are familiar with Seymour Cray who invented some of the fastest computers in his day, you would know that he built two things: sailboats and computers. Each new Cray supercomputer was its own masterpiece, a thing of beauty yet Cray himself understood that there is no such thing as timeless perfection; only obsolescense. To make his point, Seymour Cray had an annual ceremony where he would build beautiful boats in the spring and then burn them down in the fall. I guess you could probably guess he isn't a fan of rationalization...

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