Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Enterprise Architecture and Collaboration

Collaboration is a plaque on the house of enterprise architecture...

Many enterprise architecture teams attempt to solve feudal issues by encouraging collaboration. Feudality says that different parts of the organization compete with each other even though they are from otherwise disparate parts of the enterprise. Likewise, an executive will compare two groups each whom have different missions and very little to do with each other, but when views through management goggles from a very high altitude, they appear similarly blurry.

Collaboration discussions are sometimes done for ceremonial reasons to show outsiders that groups can work together or at least they did something where the amount of meetings is the primary measure of progress. Under the hood, once we remove our heads from the clouds will think about these activities as yet another time-wasting management runaround and return to business as usual.

What if enterprise architecture teams embraced the notion of horse trading whereby the managers of two disparate groups were managed to what they produce and could actually use each others results then trading would be natural and not mandated. The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the Starfish and the Spider or whatever management book analogy you prefer should always be considered.

If your organization competes with itself, you should eschew collaboration and instead refactor your organization...

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