Agile enterprises

James McGovern asks How Come Enterprise Architects Don’t Embrace Agilism?

It’s a question that’s troubled me for many years now; it belongs to the same class of question as How Come Everyone Hates Architecture Groups But Wants To Hire The Architects and How Come Enterprise Architects Hate Bus Architectures?

Five reasons:

  • The dinosaur power of the silo, be it departmental or functional
  • The continuing fear, across the enterprise, that standardisation somehow leads to lack of flexibility
  • The lack of expertise in process design and management, again across the enterprise
  • Executive-level unwillingness to consider enterprise architecture as strategic, and the consequent fossilisation of architecture groups
  • Incapacity of current enterprise IT funding models to reflect the creation, consumption and operation of reusable components accurately

Applications by themselves aren’t agile. Architectures by themselves aren’t agile. But they can enable business agility. [Note: For those who are interested, I would recommend the Ross/Weill/Robertson book on Enterprise Architecture as Strategy].

A business can be agile. If its people, processes and partners are themselves agile.

Right now, enterprise agility is hard to come by anywhere you look. The battle between professions is set to continue, we are not yet at that point of consilience. As a result, we have less-than-perfect models of partnering and outsourcing, with political intent often foreshadowing pragmatic value. The consequence of this is that processes are broken dried-up spaghetti, which suits the silo troglodyte.

Generation M will change all that. Tomorrow’s employees will not put up with the organisational treacle that is seen as normal today.

To be continued.

Let me know what you think

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