Thursday, November 09, 2006


Enterprise Architecture: Practice is sometimes a bad idea..

A peer of mines recently commented on the training practices within corporate environments and how lots of folks waste money by taking courses because they aren't afford the opportunity to practice what they have learned. Of course, I have an alternative opinion...

Practice aids in consistency but it doesn't make for perfection. Many times training courses in corporate environments are distilled down due to timeframe limitations which has a side effect of removing many critical things that should be practiced. I can learn how to swing a golf club in an hour or a year. If you measure the ability to swing a club, then you will prefer the one hour method. If you measure accuracy of the swing, then the merits of the one-year approach stand on its own.

While there is merit in giving folks the opportunity to practice when the return from training, there is even more merit in making sure that the notion of coaching is incorporated into training curriculum. You can spend all day practicing a tennis backhand, but if you have the mechanics wrong, you are going to have a very consistent, very inferior backhand. Worse, you are now further from improving that backhand. Coaching can provide the answer to this problem as part of a coach's job is to analyze your technique and keep correcting it until you have it right. He or she shouldn't let you practice bad technique undisturbed.

Practicing good technique leads to consistently good technique ("perfect"). Practicing bad technique leads to consistently bad technique and right now, most enterprise architecture teams are practicing bad enterprise architecture, they simply haven't realized it yet...

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