Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part Six

The best amongst the enterprise architecture are frequently criticized. It takes more than just having a thick skin...

Being a good leader requires us to frequently examine how we act when we become offended. Within a modern enterprise, everyone is vulnerable to attack, but enterprise architects as leaders are more likely to get criticized since they're up front. Likewise, the test of offense is a way to understand how quickly we are willing to forgive others.

Hating on someone that you have to work with will only serve to undermine the ability to build truly valuable relationships that propel the enterprise forward. Playa hatin is also an impediment to team building. Hindsight teaches us that when people offend us, that it is usually driven more by ignorance than malice.

The bible provides guidance in this regard. Consider reading the following verses:
  • Hebrews 12:14-15
  • Mark 11:25-26
  • Galatians 2:1-9

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part Five

In order to be a successful enterprise architect, one must first become credible...

We have the need to sell a value proposition of leveraging information technology within a business context. The success or failure in our approach almost usually never has to do with anything factual but is most certainly correlated with the individual's level of credibility.

How can you be effective if you aren't credible? Often, many people will test our credibility in ways we cannot imagine. This test comes to demonstrate both our ability to get the job done and our personal integrity. It reveals whether we are willing to compromise ethics under pressure.

Too many of our peers know that enterprise architecture requires a longer time horizon yet themselves make short-term tactical mistakes. Why do we allow something as mere as money get in the way of us being successful and remaining credible?

The bible provides guidance in this regard. May I suggest you read I Samuel 16:7 and Galatians 2:11-14...

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Monday, March 12, 2012


Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part Four

Enterprise Architects are also stewards of the IT portfolio of their firm. Sometimes, you will be tested in terms of being a good steward...

The stewardship test comes to demonstrate how wisely and generously we are handling resources we have been given. Often, we wish we had more or different resources. Instead of bitching and complaining about what you control or don't, God says: Use what you have.

Should we watch the rise of fiscal irresponsibility and be a participant in mortgaging the future just to get an initiative we believe in done? Bankruptcy is the outcome of many who couldn't live with using what you have. This applies to the home mortgage crisis, the crash of wall street and the overall decline in the American economy. Whether you were significantly impacted or not is a measure of your ability to be a good steward.

Please look to the Bible for guidance. I recommend the following verses: Luke 12:16-21 and Matthew 25:21...

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Friday, March 09, 2012


Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part Three

On more than a few occasions while everyone else was rallying behind a popular but otherwise sub-optimal idea, I stood alone in the wilderness...

There are times when being an enterprise architect in a large corporation will leave you mentally bankrupt and spiritually dry. The journey through the wilderness reveals our potential to change and enter a new level of growth. It proves that we are able to perform even when life isn't fun.

If you ever feel alone in the wilderness, the bible provides guidance in this regard. May I encourage you to read Deuteronomy 8:15-16 as well as Psalm 42:1-2...

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part Two

I previously blogged about the test of small things and its impact on bible-oriented enterprise architecture. Today, I will talk about motives...

Today, I had the opportunity to attend a diversity event where I learned a perspective I previously never thought about. The speaker asked a question regarding whether it was a good thing to have an environment free of politics. Of course, I expected this to be a trick question and pondered it for a moment.

Reality states that an environment free of politics suffers from two distinct challenges. If an employee of an enterprise isn't lobbying for a particular cause even when they are going against the grain, then it means that they are probably OK with status quo and are solely focused on staying under the radar. Does this make for a world-class organization?

Of course, the second challenge is actually more sinister. If you find people aren't challenging ideas they don't agree with then you may find that they are running with their own agenda. Could the military work if everyone had a different thought as to what the next step would be on the battlefield?

The bible provides guidance to Enterprise Architects in this regard. Check out Matthew 6:5-6 and Job 1:9-11. The test of motives comes to the one who is doing what is right to reveal his/her true motive. Why we do something will ultimately determine "what" we do...

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Bible-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: Part One

The discipline of enterprise architecture is less about classifying information via Zachman or TOGAF and is more in tune with relationship building and dot-connecting. I had the opportunity over the last two weeks to get together for lunch and dinner respectively with two Enterprise Architects I worked with at The Hartford. Both of these individuals not only have mastery of their day jobs but equal command of their own lives.

In my journey leading to road of nirvana I frequently am given a gift. Regardless of whether you are Jewish, a Christian or Muslim, we can acknowledge the beauty of our One God to whom all praise is due. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that he wanted me to continue interacting with not only EA top talent, but also EA top talent that is pious in nature. The world revolves around spiritually and connectedness and these two are great examples of a Bible-Oriented Reference Architecture. This series of blogs is dedicated Jeff Ryan and James Tarbell...

The first guidance given by the Bible that is applicable to Enterprise Architects is what I will refer to as the test of small things. Have you ever been asked to do something beneath your potential and talent? In 2010, I have and failed this test.

The test of small things is to prove how faithful we are to commitments and whether we are ready for greater opportunities. Some of us are caught up in titles and positions while ignoring our spiritual needs. This isn't just something you do in church every Sunday, in the temple on Saturday or even the Masjid on Friday. This has to be at the center of your core as both an Enterprise Architect and human being.

Have we gotten so politically correct that we forget that the United States is one nation under God? I somehow suspect that these two individuals if permitted to be more spiritual would have pointed me toward Luke 16:10 and Ephesians 5:16.

Find a bible and look up these versions. Now think about Enterprise Architecture and then connect the dots. What do you see...

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Thursday, March 01, 2012


Performance Reviews 2.0

One of the greatest thought leaders of the twentieth century, W. Edwards Deming, wroteIn his view, the system causes 80 percent of the problems in a business and the system is management’s responsibility...

A job well done deserves a proper reward, right? In a team setting, can you really succeed in acknowledging an individual's efforts without killing the team's morale and productivity?

Do you work in a culture where you actually have received great performance reviews but are somewhat embarrassed to share this fact with others? The majority of large enterprises use ranking systems as a basis for dismissing the lowest performers, making the practice even more threatening. When team members are in competition with each other for their livelihood, teamwork quickly evaporates.

There is no greater de-motivator than a reward system that is perceived to be unfair.
It doesn’t matter if the system is fair or not. If there is a perception of unfairness, then those who think that they have been treated unfairly will rapidly lose their motivation. Have you ever been in a review where your boss has shared with you the simple fact that 2/3rd of your review isn't determined by your actual performance? How would you feel?

At a personal level, there is no one that is more passionate about enterprise architecture and security than I. I am not motivated by money or other financial rewards. Once I have enough to live on and to save for my kid's college then other considerations take priority. I wonder if leadershipManagement should acknowledge that once employees get used to receiving financial rewards for meeting goals, they begin to work for the rewards, not the intrinsic motivation that
comes from doing a good job and helping their company be successful.

I have outlined the challenges with current approaches to performance reviews and in a future blog entry I hope to provide a few alternatives...


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