To much time and effort is spent on looking far in to the future. Often enough fixated on a single target architecture, a to-be state that has little to do with the way business is actually being done. It’s time we start utilizing the tools we’ve got to work with rolling architectures. The dynamics of business and supporting structures like IT are well able to get to grips with an ever changing market.
We can make a serious impact on the strategic outcome by acknowledging the fact that the enterprise clocks all work at different speeds, resulting in at least eleven intertwined life cycles that need to be aligned. The skills and tools of the architects is well attuned with aligning all the little pieces and all the big pieces into a continuous transition plan.
Good things that we all do
- Application life cycle management
- Portfolio and project management
- Enterprise Architecture
- Product life cycle management
- Strategic planning
Good things that we can do
- Enterprise continuous life cycle alignment
- Enterprise continuous transition plan
Ways of executing
John Boyds event loop named the OODA loop is a thinking model well adapted to handle the overall problem of intertwined life cycles.
Note that the cycles of the loop is not single instances. There are infinite cycles going on at every time.
If we where to try the OODA loop on our work it might look something like below. To make it a bit easier on the people we could assume that the loop speed would start with monthly iterations, then we could go down to every fortnight and after that every week and after that every other day ending with every day. The aim would off course be to do the loop instantaneously.
As part of our normal work routine we should enter data, updating the organizations repository with information about every change we came into contact with. The “All” in this case is all levels in the organization, definitely not just architects.
Continuously the data in the repository would be analyzed, by the architects
Each cycle a decision to create new releases of the repository matching the outcome of the orientation would be taken.
Each cycle, programs and projects would be handed updated directives with detailed instructions.
Many may say that this is all a state of nirvana. It does not have to be. If we combine the best we have in people, knowledge, information and tools then it can be achieved. Remember that some companies have thrown out their budget work and use rolling quarters instead, no one thought that would be easy either.
Near instantaneous loops demand a responsive organization, so if you’re doing projects and programs with steering groups and committees then you’d probably have to rethink your method.