Wednesday, February 13, 2008

 

Why Architecture initiatives always fail...

In any large organization, perception is more important than reality. If an Architect is not good at creating the perception of value by doing architecture, this effort always fails...



A lot of times, architects are senior developers who are pushed into the role and lack the necessary political skills to create this perception in an organization. Typical IT shops are reactive in nature, and they live by releases and current customers. In a reactive environment, it is nearly impossible to create value for using architecture. Architecture in a typical company is always doomed to fail.

The problem almost always makes itself even worse in that reactive mindsets will conclude that architects need to become politicians and focus more on communicating thinly veiled chock-a-block eye candy powerpoint that lacks any substance under the guise that this is of higher value. Over time, IT is filled with folks who wouldn't know good architecture from bad architecture and IT devolves.

Architecture is not easily measurable or quantifiable in numbers. You can not really attach a dollar figure to architecture benefits. Gunnar Peterson describes an interesting situation that says that the analogy of SOA is a car while security is the brakes in the car. Having better breaks allows you to drive faster. At some level, the same thing can be said of good architecture in that you won't notice it for short trips to the grocery store but you can certainly haul ass for long distances across the planet...




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