Don’t Bet on Architecture

Don’t Bet on Architecture

Manfred Cochefert
PhD Enterprise Architect
Let’s play the game. How much will you bet money with me ?

A business leader is willing to sell new IT managed services to her/his clients. She/He has not involved IT department, and the firm has no role for Enterprise Architect or Architecture team. The business leader really wants to go fast. The business case is settled, approved by the executive committee, as there is for sure a great opportunity to win a new market.

To equip his services, the business leader has approached a vendor, whose solution would likely fit his needs. She/He also knows the CEO since long. She/He has already involved the procurement team, the legal team, and is willing to implement the service the soonest. She/He has already signed the terms of the contract, and a one-off setup and recurring license fees. It is time for her/him to involve the IT department, as it remains two months left to deploy the solution. Moreover, the business leader has planned a demonstration with a client in three weeks.

Bet your career

Have you ever struggled with projects with delays, or teams that don’t appear efficient, observed lack of collaboration, despite an army of Project Managers ? Have you ever struggled with increasing IT costs ?

So let’s play the game, by taking a Risk Management approach. This approach can be found in many standard frameworks, like TOGAF, or PMI. In this scenario I can assure you, the money I will win won’t be theoretical.

Let me bet my career, or building blocks, that look somehow familiar to many readers of this article, for the likelihood and impact of the below risks to happen !

RiskMy bet
The project will deliver out of delay
The solution will not integrate within the Information System
The solution will require additional development for surrounds communication
The solution is not secured enough, and will require the vendor to implement hot fix
The solution is not aligned with the hosting strategy
The solution does not meet security requirements as per the data classification and definition of the service
The solution will not comply with the access management policy
The solution is already partially implemented in another business area
The cost of the solution does not integrate hardware costs
The cost of the solution does not integrate running costs
The IT teams are not organized or ready to implement the solution
The project scope is not clearly defined
The requirements are not clearly stated
The governance of the project is not stated
The product support and lifecycle are not in the scope of the project
The solution is not designed to match the development lifecycle
There is a better solution to fit the needs, more standard, and cheaper
The solution is not profitable at all, and the business case does not reflect the reality
The risks are not measured and likelihood to happen are high
The IT department has not competencies to maintain the product and there is no hand over planned
There is no change management planned even in business team
The revenues for the business case are far too optimistic, and there is no plan to monitor the return on investment
The solution won’t support the expected consumption of the service, leading to interruptions, customer dissatisfaction, and lowering image for the company and all its business
The solution cannot be reused, whereas alternative options would have create synergies for later business opportunities, thus saving later money
Let’s skip the discussion where the business leader is willing to bet more, like her/his house, husband/spouse or family, due to uncontrolled data security, leading to leaks, lowering image of her/his company, etc..

« Do you recognize yourself in this scenario ? Or do you recognize several situations like this within your enterprise ? If so, then you really need Enterprise Architecture ! »

Or bet on Architecture

If you recognized yourself or your organization in this scenario, I have very bad news for you ! Let me say this straight away : you owe me a huge amount of money. As a matter of fact, I will continue to bet on these risks for all projects of this organization as long as they do not have implemented a whole Enterprise Architecture capability.

« Exercise : how much can I win money this way, considering the number of organizations within the world ? Let me be rich !
Fair enough, here is a solution : Enterprise Architecture. Sure quality and qualified professional cost, but let’s compare with my above bets, times the number of projects within the firm ! »

Here is the good news. Enterprise Architecture is a powerful solution for all of these risks and issues. You can start your journey with EA in a Box !

With Enterprise Architecture, you ensure the following :

  • solution is selected to be in line with all requirements
  • the solution aligns with your Information System, your Information and Technology Strategy, is standard, robust and future-proof
  • risks related to the solution are fully under control
  • the solution will be delivered in time
  • the solution will not cost more than what it is expected
  • the teams that will implement the solution will not lose efficiency
  • you ensure a full product lifecycle management
  • security is a deep concern managed by design
  • the delivery is a mature process
  • the business case is relevant, accurate, and measurable

« How is possible ? The Art of Architecture !
And how much does it cost ? Far less than my expectancy wins due to my bets ! Don’t hesitate to start your Enterprise Architecture journey, with EA in a Box. »

Published by Manfred Cochefert

PhD Enterprise Architect

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