We are in the middle of implementing our SOA Governance model. We have put together a ton of lengthy reference documents like the architect guidebook, SOA roadmap, developer guidebook, administrator handbook, and many others. Our biggest fear has been getting people to read these documents. In order to enforce our SOA best practices and standards, people must be aware of what they are. Giving people 200-300 page documents is not an effective way of sharing information.
Enter open source wiki tool, MediaWiki. With a little help from OpenOffice v.2.3, we took the lengthy Word documents and converted them to Wiki Markup to create easy to use, clickable, and searchable documents. Now our architects and developers can easily maneuver through pages of pertinent documentation without being overwhelmed by large sequential documents. In addition, people can collaborate by using the discussion feature in MediaWiki to help the architect team improve upon the documentation.
Our next step is to implement an open source blogging tool. One of our challenges today is to communicate both technical and project specific information pertaining to our SOA initiative in a timely manner. I have held a number of meetings with several IT teams to walk them though various presentations and white board sessions. Unfortunately I don't have the bandwidth to do this often enough. We will start to leverage blogging technology to share daily information about the initiatives. People who are interested will be able to subscribe to these blogs using an RSS feed reader. This is much more effective then pushing more email on people.
And finally, we will create an Enterprise Architecture community in our enterprise portal. This will allow us to bring all of our content together in a one stop shop approach. The community will display our blogs, our wiki, project status, tips & tricks, announcements, and various other information.
One of my lessons learned so far on our SOA project is that we do not communicate often enough. I believe a combination of monthly presentations and white board sessions, along with our wiki, blogs, and portal community provides multiple opportunities for people to keep up to date with our SOA initiative. I also think it is more effective to publish content and let people "pull" it on demand then to "push" it on them.
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