Showing posts from September, 2009

What breaks my heart

In a fruitful conversation with this organization's software evangelist we discussed the right (economical, efficient, simple, verifiable, results centric) approach for designing a solution to address a pressing knowledge management problem. The explosion of electronic data over the past ten years has really caught up now. The solution would use organization's existing infrastructure assets (both software and hardware) and can be implemented to serve 4,000 users in the production environment under 6 months with 4-7 FTEs.

Evangelist's caution statement? Political barriers within the core IT organization won't allow for creation of the system, because it doesn't include the other 20,000 employees in other divisions who may need something similar. This is the heart breaking part. The core IT organization cannot dedicate its resources to reduce the burden for 4,000 employees, and lack of trust between a business division and the core IT organization prevents business un…

Turbulent times

At this organization the tenure of the senior leader post is closely resembling that of a Bank of America CEO. The post length is now measured in months and not years.

Superficially it appears that the changes at such high level do not influence the design of software systems. But upon taking a closer look it quickly becomes clear that changes at the top have a direct impact on your software design decisions. To recap the flow: the world events influence customers' decisions, corporations adjust to serve customers, CEOs and senior leaders set objectives and goals to maximize profit on sales to customers, measures associated with objectives and goals influence the business processes, software exists to support business processes, and company employees use software to deliver value to a customer.

Only in the most mature (or highly bureaucratic organizations) the change at the top has marginal effect on organizations, but in this economic environment with ever changing business models …

Paul Nielsen, SEI Director, brings awareness to software engineering issues in front of the U.S. House of Representatives

A big part of what we, as software architects, do is educating our stakeholders on why it's critical to take a disciplined and rational approach to developing software. Very few managers, directors, and executives know or care about the internal complexity of a software solution. Their attitude, and rightfully so, "just make it work." It's good to know that people like Paul Nielsen, SEI Director, find time to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives to raise awareness of the growing complexity and importance of large scale software intensive systems and their importance to our day-to-day lives.

Constantin K.
Firebrand Architect®