Monday, February 19, 2007


Perceptions of working hard...

Working late is usually more visible and will therefore get you further than getting in to work early...

Last week, I had phone conversations with two Enterprise Architects, one in Chicago and the other in New York in which I discovered an interesting pattern. It seems as if these two individuals are being pushed to work longer hours to make up for the shortage in resources. Instead of complaining about complaining, I asked them to instead understand what the shortage is all about. Consider the fact that a large percentage of waste that goes on in our profession due to insane schedules, badly defined products, faulty methodologies, lousy tools, boneheaded ideas, etc. (not to mention websurfing to track our stock market investments) we may actually have a surplus of people who are badly used.

In thinking about the best way to solve for the problems that enterprise architects face, maybe they are missing out on a big opportunity for improvement. What if they championed the notion that the work week should be limited to just 40 hours or even less! This would allow for some time for reflection and we might discover that half of all software projects are totally unnecessary, and that the remaining half can be easily handled in the normal work week by existing staff and we can eliminate the need to outsource.

I suspect that a lot of enterprise architects will read this and agree, yet will also not take it any further. Us enterprise architects are really a bunch of cowards. We bitch and complain about long hours on one hand but revel in how hard we work on the other. We need to get off the fence and start taking control of the destiny of our architectures as stewards. I bet not a single enterprise architect has ever considered providing facts to the IT executives within their world as to how to optimize the number of hours an employee works...

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