Reorganising the Reorganisation of the Organisation

We live in a changing, and challenging, world. If we weren’t sure about that before, we certainly are now. So where does Enterprise Architecture sit in the middle of all that change?

We could sit under the kitchen table with out hands over our heads and wait for the noise to stop. We could run out into the street screaming and shouting and generally getting hysterical. Neither fit our style. Instead we chose to continue doing what we do in a controlled, calm and professional manner.

Why?

Because all of this change that is going on only serves to remind me that Enterprise Architecture is needed even more than ever right now. We have the vision, we have the blueprint, blimey – we even have principles! What more could you ask for when looking to answer the tough question that is being asked of us all – “How do we continue to provide the services that the citizens of Devon need, using 25% less resources and with 25% less people?”

My answer to that would be to be clear about what you are trying to do, to do it once, and do it in the most efficient way possible.

Reminds me of the good old days of TQM! In those days though, times were good and resources could be thrown at a problem – sorry – opportunity!

Today times are challenging.

As a team of Enterprise Architects we need to make sure that people take advantage of us (in the nicest possible way!). We need to ensure that everyone knows what we do, what our vision is, what principles are and how they can apply them to their part of the organisation. Personally, I don’t think that reorganisations should take place in silos. People should not be concerned about protecting their “patch”, we have one single purpose and we should be viewed as one organisation – a single enterprise.

Or, maybe, I am just trying to protect my patch?

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Making a Difference

In January the Enterprise Architects Team will be a year old and after a few fire-fighting decisions made this week, I am starting to reflect on what difference we have actually made to the organisation.

It has been an interesting time, moving from having to look up the definition of Enterprise Architecture, to living and breathing it. The team have jelled really well (my opinion – I guess the others will have to give theirs), and we have learned an enormous amount. We have a really clear idea about what the business wants from ICT in order for them to move forward, and we even have some principles in place for decision making. Communication is coming on, and we are starting to get the message across. All great progress.

What is proving really hard is actually changing anything. All I seem to do at the moment is provide the spanner that gets firmly planted in the works. Moving from what we do now (and have done since 1845 if you listen to some people), to what we should do, is hard. We have “pie in the sky” ideas, all firmly planted in reality – they are what the business wants, but we can’t seem to deliver because the day job gets in the way. Sometimes I wish I could stop the world turning, just for a week, catch up and start again.

I suppose what we are facing is an inevitable consequence of having a team of people going out and actually asking people what they want – fatal! :O)

I am now looking at this whole programme as turning around the archetypal tanker, it is going to take a long time. We are going to have to keep plugging away with the communication, and adding our 5p’s worth at each and every opportunity that comes our way. We are changing now from our “discovery” phase into a patient dripping tap phase.

I think we will need determination and patience – we can do that – no problem. We can do it because we have a real clear vision. We know where we need to go.