Practical Enterprise Architecture – Let Me Count the Ways

I’m sure as many of you do, you reach home after a weary four days of work and are frustrated because your work seems to be one big giant conflict. You spend an hour and a half of a one hour meeting (notice that we only went over by 50%?) going back and forth and back and forth. You might get a turn with the magic white board markers, confident that once you play picasso, everyone will get it and the argument will be over.

Well – was I in a doozy today – I just sat and played the referee, as it was the role I was paid to play as Chief Architect of an Enterprise Architecture program – I would ask questions like “What if you were to …” and see what they’d say. At the end of the day, I took on another role – it was to say – something like “let’s say there are two options – which would you prefer?”

Now we’re getting somewhere – people are always better at pointing out fault with something concrete, rather than trying to come up with pieces of something or arguing about minute points.

If you get to play architect, this might be one tactful approach. Architecture is more about politics than it seems to be about technology. You can’t just show up as a great IT polician and expect to be a good architect, but if you are a good architect, being tactful and a great politician sure helps.

So back to the dilemma at hand. Do you ever notice that at the end of one of these types of meetings you are down to two options? It’s not that there are just two choices, but there are two that the group hasn’t discarded and are willing to back. Pick one, see if it looks like swiss cheese, and then jump ship if it seems that it won’t float your boat!

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