Friday, June 12, 2009

festina lente

"I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. " ~Abraham Lincoln

Learning is essential in every discipline and architects often carry a double duty of learning both the technical angle and the business angle. But there is another angle that you, as an architect, must learn, and that's the human angle.

In a recent three day working session with a rapidly developing project I was following the well defined path of working with the clients through the core business processes, defining technical pieces of a potential solution, etc. Early on I was fortunate to realize that despite coarse grained requirements provided by the team there wasn't much substance (conceptual integrity) in what was said by the stakeholders.

That was a clue to take extra time to understand just how much and how well the stakeholders understand the business problem at hand. By listening and learning quickly from them I re-scoped the day's discussion and concentrated solely on a short term solution capabilities. This provided confidence to the stakeholders that they understand a solution using their limited knowledge of technology and provided a base for future long term solution discussion.

Summary: always be ready to re-scope the discussion to meet the immediate needs of your stakeholder even if the previously set agenda promised to cover the world.

Constantin K.
Firebrand Architect®

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