Architecture programs can be help to organizations – but for many different reasons. In same breath, by not identifying the needs for doing architecture, an architecture program can address problems that do not exist or leaders or team do not care about, and can become a waste of money or relegated to a compliance exercise.
At Xentity, we believe instituting architecture, governance or design guidance needs to address patterns, anti-patterns that create portfolio, solution and analysis management strategies that help deal with disruptions, investment in innovation, and shrinking budgets while improving services and aligning suppliers and partners.
Below are some example external pressure trends, common impact or anti-pattern trends cutting across cultural, business, and technology aspects of programs
- Resistance to Change Planning: Intellectual approaches without balancing emotional or maturity context, not engaging leaders motives, pain, not seed-planting
- Paving Cow Paths: Automating management problems, function over form, not questioning assumptions, not looking at new (HR, IT, $) resource enablement patterns
- Geek Speak Execs don’t get it, and its not their fault
- Poor Modernization Blueprints: Mile-High, Inch-Deep, without proving pieces at time to gain momentum
- Islands of Automation: aka Center of Universe – disparate sites, systems, apps, instead of services in user environment
Redundant Buying: Buying same item many times, no architecture guidance to scale or change patterns
Program Management: Few delivered on time, on budget, on scope, on quality. Sponsorship lacking, not insuring/governing/buying risk, still not agile PM
- Bad Data: Building GIGO Business Intelligence. Asking the wrong question of data which in turn leads to data collection failures.
- Poor Cyber Security: IT security seen as lagging IT cost, instead of asset-risk management issue
- Too Much Change: Executives and Consultants promote constant flux, instead of unfreezing, adding change, and institutionalize new efforts and concepts
- Problem seems insurmountable: Too large, complex leading to reversion to waterfall project planning techniques. The window for 2 years to test to new overhauling policies are gone. Business agility requires negotiation between business for prioritizing and agile project rollout.
- Vision/Thought Leadership left to higher-ups only: Challenging to staff to truly envision a change or target state not part of their incentive, even though best tactical ideas to enhance/meet strategy usually comes from within. Thinking gets bound up in current operational mire.
- Revolving Door: Working to satisfy the management of today for organization political or self interest purposes. Middle management is often positioned or left to be soft with few exceptions on the drive needed to manage change. For example, with middle management and up are nearing or at retirement, large amounts started to retire, the churn caused by vacuum-effect at high level makes long term initiatives difficult to start or sustain.
- Compliance Driven: Overwhelming amount of data calls with heavy-handed “fines”. Manage and plan to compliance – measuring to ineffectual measures
- Compliance too complicated to understand: Cost/Price analysis on subcontractor costs, Self-monitoring/compliance reviews, manage contracting risks, methods and evidence used for estimation, understanding government acquisition regulations. Without expert help, small businesses are heavily limited to engaging.
- Planning to the beast and not the customer: Fear at operational level of making decisions that lead to a innovative approaches or straying from norm – risk adverse. No reward for doing things better.
- Delivering Value not part of Culture: Not sure of value of what we produce. no clarity on strategic outcomes and therefore have little recognition of recommended initiatives and what they mean to the workforce.
- Blackbox Syndromes (aka Man behind the Curtain): Information Technology and management concepts and operations are overwhelmed by or shielded from the consumer of customer view. Programs/Mission are not informed of what IT has to do. Thus executive direction is disconnected, sometimes thus IT solutions or operations funding tie executives hands. Business agility gets put on backburner regardless of what Portfolio/Project Management is in place.
- Surviving, not Thriving – Mission management model or system not designed to manage sustained change and transition. They are designed to deliver a product or service, if lucky.
- Stovepiped Policy creates stovepipe programs: Cannot collaborate – need to get my task done now. Without collaboration, there is an inability for prioritization methods or techniques to be imparted and use effectively at all tiers of management.
- Funding mismatch: Budget is a constraining variable in all work formulas precluding optimization across elements. These may be synthesied or aggrgated – mixed and matched as you see fit. Some programs may actually be funded right, but key functions of program budget are misaligned limiting what can be accomplished as a whole.
- Enterprise Planning flavor of the day: Due to either past failures, or perception that new approaches are repackaged ways tried before kills internal buy-in towards integrated or collaborative techniques. Enterprise architecture, team functional/segment analysis, or agile project management may have been “tried” before, but instead of evaluating failure as tried to take on too much scope, other factors not resolved above, or simply, was over-engineered, are usually not labelled as the cause. The baby gets thrown out with the bath water or enterprise planning gets tossed aside due to lack of leadership, mistrust or burn-out.
- Imbalance of Leadership Styles: Quick deciders, Stalling Stabilizers, Never-satisfied Challengers, Start-up Innovators – whatever the persona, a lack of understanding of what each brings causes consternation or even over imbalance towards one style. Which leads to no decisions, status quo, low morale, or too much change.