The Secret Sauce
May 29, 2011
Last time, I was talking about what I consider to be the general lack of a crisis in software development. And it got me thinking - if there is no crisis in software development, no inherent flaws in our tools or our methods, then there must somehow be a way to convey the appropriate use of these tools and methods in order that everybody could get it right every time. If the Enterprise Architectcriticised the sauce this time,it was going over his head Ah ha, I thought. A book. A book entitled “ ...
Ungoverning the Business
November 13, 2010
If there’s one aspect of enterprise IT guaranteed to get the dander up it’s Standards and Governance. Some time ago I wrote a short piece on governance called The Governance Apparition making the point that governance should never really be seen as separate and distinct from ‘doing things’. If a company has a process for ‘doing things’ and an internal body (usually architecture) tries to ‘govern’ the outputs of that process the governance will fail. It will fail because it’s almost impossible ...
The Governance Apparition
November 26, 2007
I first noticed the word governance being sprinkled liberally into IT conversations sometime in the late nineties. It was (and still is) used as foundational prop to suggest that, if you have it, all will be well. The word appeared first, as far as I can remember, in Finance and Investment Banking IT - not surprising as financial governance is all about the appropriate exercise of authority and control. The word itself means a method or system of management and so I guess it’s no surprise that yo ...
Enterprise Design Debt
October 08, 2007
I think the question I get asked most often is how to manage the constant struggle between IT trying to deliver something to quality and budget, and the business wanting everything yesterday. When a project is late, I have yet to see a business representative say that they want the good version next week, over the not-so-good version today. In fact the conversation tends to go along the lines of we’ll take the tactical version and launch that today, and install the strategic version later. Except ...
Build or Buy. Or Customise and Confuse
October 03, 2007
If an organisation developed all the software it needed from scratch, it would, in theory, never have a business need go unfulfilled. With full and free access to its own source code, changes would only ever be a matter of further development and enhancement. I say in theory because the reality is that some needs would require skills so specialised, investment so large, or numbers of people so great, that the business would find themselves wanting despite the tantalising promise of their hard ear ...
SOA Myth and Mystery
September 19, 2007
Update of original essay from May 14, 2007. Service-orientation is a good, but old, idea and the benefits it heralds are great indeed. Like all bandwagons that have come before, it’s attracted more than its fair share of misinformation, consultant-speak, and myth. Search for the one true definition on Google and you’ll find plenty, walk into any corporate strategy meeting and they’ll be working themselves up into a frenzy over it, ask a consultant for advice on it and they’ll look surprised that ...
April 12, 2007
Creating software in the corporate environment is a complex business and complexity is a wonderful breeding ground for risk. There are two types of risk that need to be dealt with: acquired risk and inherent risk. Acquired risk will be the subject of a later post. It’s the quid pro quo of software development - choose the bleeding edge, expand your scope, try something experimental, and you’ll increase your risk. It’s the risk you choose or have foisted on you. Inherent risk is the risk that yo ...