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Clash of the Illuminati! (Part 1) January 15, 2010

Posted by Michael Miller in Enterprise Architecture.
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Enterprise Architecture and System Development groups act as Illuminati [Illuminati: groups claiming to have received special enlightenment] and believe that their particular approach to systems development is the only correct one. Often, these groups clash because their views toward development are polar opposites.

Enterprise Architecture takes a long-term view towards software development, concentrating on operations stability and insuring that software development adheres to enterprise architectures and standards. Software Development project groups take a short-term view with a focus on speedy software completion and implementation.

These groups clash with gates placed at the end of software development steps in order to curtail their variance from existing architectures and standards. But a better approach to software can be applied that benefits both parties.

Rather than gates at the end of each development step, perhaps a ‘accelerator’ can be placed at the beginning of each step by reviewing the system development efforts with existing enterprise architectures to accelerate development through reuse of existing architecture components, such as existing process and data models, or entity definitions and data formats. With this approach, software development avoids “reinventing the wheel” through the development process and enterprise architecture enters at the beginning of each step rather than at the end. This “enlightened approach” puts enterprise architecture in the position to act as a ‘swim coach’ providing techniques to speed development efforts, rather that acting as a ‘border guards’ that inhibit development efforts from moving to the next step. This approach provides a “win-win” for both architects and developers, and ultimately, the end-customer by reducing costs, speeding development and enhancing the quality of final deliverables that are more efficiently and effectively aligned to existing enterprise architectures.

W. Edwards Deming in his book, ‘Out of the Crisis’ states we should: “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.” We can build quality into the systems development process by introducing Enterprise Architecture to the start of each step rather than at the end.

This approach provides a

  • better way to manage the relationship between enterprise architects & software developers
  • pain reliever to development step walkthroughs and gates, speeding passage to the next development step
  • “win-win” approach to accelerate deliverables through each software development life cycle step and enhance overall system quality.

Say tuned for my next post with further details on this subject.

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