Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

How many times have we seen high profile people do things that contradict the messages that they send to us? We have seen a homeland security official stalking teenagers on MySpace, we have seen athletes deny taking performance enhancing drugs only to be proved guilty, and we have seen laws like the Patriot Act, which was supposed to protect us, actually violate our civil liberties. What does this have to do with technology you might ask? Well the lesson learned here is if you say one thing but do the other, the people who follow you lose faith and your initiatives fail.

The same holds true in corporate America. When a visionary leader attempts to implement a culture changing initiative like business process management, agile development, or a new project management methodology, they must practice what they preach. I have seen several attempts to implement standard software methodologies, like CMM, fail. Why do they fail? Because the visionary leader didn't practice what he preached. In this example, the visionary preached that by adopting CMM, IT would be more successful in delivering projects. Unfortunately, implementing CMM was not carried out like a project. No scope was defined, no communication plan was developed, no stakeholders or executive sponsor was named. Instead , a boat load of documents were thrust on the IT staff. Of course, there was mass resistance and the initiative failed. Had the visionary practiced what he preached and used CMM to implement CMM his chances for success would have greatly increased.

Practice what you preach applies to those trying to implement SOA for the first time. You probably sold management that some of the advantages of SOA are speed to market and agility. The CEO was so excited by your presentation that he freed up a boat load of funds to launch your SOA initiative. Guess what? It's now time to get agile. Practice what you preach. Throw away your old waterfall approach. Gone are the days of 6-8 month deliverables. Start delivering early and often. If you don't change your ways, the CEO will quickly lose faith in this initiative quicker the you can say WMD.


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My favorite sayings

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

"Before you build a better mouse trap, make sure you have some mice"