I just read an entertaining post from Dave Linthicum called Do you Have a DSG (Dumb SOA Guy) Issue? A DSG refers to a person leading the SOA effort who has the political clout but has no clue what SOA is. If you have one of these, you could be in for a long painful and expensive journey. Here is a key point from the article:
Again, the technology around SOA is simple, and I never worry about how we're going to leverage technology to solve a problem. However, the people issues are more concerning and more difficult to fix.
My head was nodding when I read this. I can tell you from experience over the last 18 months that the hard part is culture change, change management, and establishing governance. If you have a few smart architects and a good implementation partner like I have, the technology part can be easily conquered. The hardest part I have experienced from the technology standpoint is getting all of the tools in the stack completely integrated and stable. But even these issues are a one time hit that you have to deal with on your first implementation.
Back to the DSGs. The person leading the SOA initiative needs to be strong in the following areas:
- Technology - must understand SOA at a conceptual level or better
- Political Clout - must have a high level of influence to remove roadblocks
- Business - must align technically with business drivers
- People Skills - must know how to motivate and direct people