Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Enterprise Architecture: Are you reading and believing misleading advice?
There is way too much discussion regarding improved processes these days, including everything from ITIL and RUP, CMMi, project portfolio management. Many folks who aren't indoctrinated process weenies can be heard in the corridors of large enterprises saying phrase such as: "They are talking about creating a complicated, time consuming process involving spreadsheets and GANTT charts that could all be done on the back of a cocktail napkin."
The phrase about getting on the bus seems to be the latest meme traveling across enterprises. If you have ever read book: Good to Great by Jim Collins, you would notice that great enterprises acknowledge:
- ...the purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline -- a problem that largely goes away if you have the right people in the first place. Most companies build their bureaucratic rules to manage the small percentage of wrong people on the bus, which in turn drives away the right people on the bus, which then increases the percentage of wrong people on the bus, which increases the need for more bureaucracy to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline, which further drives the right people away, and so forth
If you hire the smartest people, give them the best tools, and let them work, they will do the right thing, intrinsically. You only need process when your people have let you down. In fact, when you institute a mandated process, you are slapping your employees in the face. You are saying, "I don't trust you to get this right, so I, your leader, have mandated that you must follow these steps." The best people will follow the best practices.
Get the right people on the bus and get the process off the bus. Let the people find the best practices and let them have a great time producing great valuable working software...
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