Over the last few weeks we have posted a series of articles about the challenges at BriteLite and the way Brenda the Architect has helped solve them using architecture practices in general, and ArchiMate in particular.
The buzz in the organization is increasing as time passes. People have noticed that Brenda’s team is moving on from “just architecture” to road mapping and there is a lot of talk at the coffee machine about how things will commence in the (near) future. Through newsletters and attendance at (management) meetings, Brenda has made sure that everyone is up to date on progress. The positive ‘spin’ seems to have effect as there is not a lot of push-back so far. Also, the good news is that people are getting used to seeing Brenda and Matt together as they are spreading the word about the upcoming changes. The positive atmosphere makes it easier for them to also ask the hard questions.
The work for gap analysis is in full swing. The team found the approach “a lot of work, but doable”. One of the team members justly remarked that “getting and modelling the information is one thing, but maintaining it will be another”. This is surely true, and Brenda is happy that the team is maturing rapidly, already thinking about the next cycle and keeping the architectural information up to date and valid. For the time being she decided that the focus should be on the current work. In the team’s working space she reserved an area on the whiteboard for “things to address in the near future” to make sure they are not lost.
In many organizations a mythical shadow lays deep down in the catacombs, otherwise known as the server rooms. This dark shadow has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Normally these creatures are in search of gold. However, this kind doesn’t fancy gold, this one hoards applications!
With the pressure on, the team has the feeling that they are “working around the clock”. Surely, the target model keeps growing fast, also because the reference models provide a good starting point. Still, the team has clearly stated that they had hoped to have more concrete results. This is probably due to the fact that a lot of people in the organization want to get started in realizing the architecture, rather than continually fleshing it out in more detail. Here, Brenda realizes she must strike a balance between getting a complete picture of the target architecture in ArchiMate® and giving her team what they want and need.
The team is in full swing now, very much aware of the fact that ‘the pressure is on’. The reference models are in a “good enough” form at the moment, and some of the grumbling from management seems to be fading away. Through informal channels, the team has learned that part of the frustration seems to come from the fact that an audit (“quick scan”) by an external party has resulted in advise to management to “speed things up a notch”. So much for careful planning!
Although Application Portfolio Management (APM) isn’t the newest kid on the block, it has had a tremendous growth in popularity lately. Due to the economic crisis and market pressures in general, IT managers and architects are constantly pushed by their CxO’s to reduce inefficiencies, improve agility of the enterprise and cut costs. The complexity of these tasks leads to an increasing need for tools and structures to help them handle their application landscape. Since over 70% of most IT budgets goes to maintaining existing applications, it is clear that there is a need for oversight and insight in the use of these applications and their added value, to reduce costs and make room for innovation.
Fleshing out the co-existence pattern was hard work for the team: Brenda had to coach them through the project, staying away from the technical details such as deployment until the concept is clearly understood and the actual go-ahead from management is obtained.
The team is excited about the news that they can go ahead with fleshing out the target architecture. They are particularly enthusiastic about going for a combination of best-of-breed systems mixed with an MDM solution. There is still some caution as Brenda has made it very clear that there was some ‘glazing over’ during the presentation. As before, the team decides to work in two sub teams: one team will do a “road show” to illustrate the concept of MDM to increase management buy-in, while the other team fleshes out the technical details.
As we have described before, few organizations have a systematic and reliable way of translating a business strategy into action. This requires aligning various disciplines along the same desired business outcomes, to point them in the same direction. This is the core of BiZZdesign’s approach to business change.