Slightly smaller but enouragingly large group carrying on from FSD meeting yesterday, but with focus on EA.
Kicked off by me with an impassioned – honest! – plea for the importance of EA. Then group discussion on where people are with EA on the maturity model – explorer, adopter, implementer, achiever, practitioner. Mostly explorers, which is both good & not a surprise. Reality: tend to be hovering around all 5 levels at the same time. Fear! Fear of TOGAF, fear of the hugeness of it all, elephant for breakfast etc. TOGAF = like PRINCE2. When digging a hole, the focus should not be on the spade. Back to the Dearing type 42 manager – EA articulates what that kind of leader does. Andy Jordan/Duke & Jordan – EA = a philosophical framework within which the right kind of thinking can be done – spot on.
Is there a danger in EA originating in IT? Is there a danger that IT is seen as driving the business? Is there any difference between IT & the business? Do you worry about aligning the spade with the hole, or do you just dig… Back to the idea of being useful: what does the VC/CEO want? To run a successful University. If EA helps with that, do it. Be useful.
Doing EA – P4; John Townsend/Liverpool John Moores University. Description of a practical problem, project, & programme based approach.
Big EA – John King/Roehampton. 7 steps to EA. No EA project! – exactly. Don’t need a business case for EA – do need a business case for EA awareness. Key problems: Governance & stakeholder buy in. Bonus: modelling.
Run Silent, Run Deep – Paul Hobson/Cardiff. Common theme – address real business change problems. JFDI. Ref http://congliffy.cf.ac.uk/display/LeanEA. Gleaned a lot of intelligence from the Burton Group. Imperial complexity in spades.
Exploring EA – Luke Taylor/Bristol. Scope: supporting process review. Bristol doesn’t see IT as the business -yet. Introducing EA into emerging projects. New Governance structure based round Strategic Programme Board – Programme Management structure, really = home for EA.
Followed by brief but interesting breakout discussions – but surfacing the usual problems/issues – not sure we got any nearer to any solutions. Learn by doing = MOTD.
Introduction to Modelling – Yvonne Howard/Southampton. Modelling is a spectrum of activity, from soft to hard. How do you tell a well socialised software engineer? They talk to your shoes. Modelling enables conversation. Not really for me, as I don’t/won’t do any actual modelling – shame the business analysts who do aren’t here. Interesting point ref audience for FSD/EAPG activity. SSM – hasn’t popped up for a little while. Could be interesting/beneficial to introduce VPEC-T into this conversation.
& on reflection from the train back to Liverpool…
Overall good event, although I felt today/EA was better than yesterday/FSD. Latter seemed more amorphous/harder to get hold of, although maybe this is the nature of the beast – EA is a tool, FSD is an outcome – or rather a wide range of possible outcomes dependent on the context/strategy/objectives etc. Words like agile, flexible, lean are great but low on tangibility. Perhaps FSD would benefit from some further application of MSP ie a blueprint, a future vision state, a definition of what FSD will look like when we get there. I think the business case is made, at least within the Programme – just going to be hard to make the journey to a place lacking definition. Or maybe that’s the point – the journey will define the destination. Starting to sound like rambling to me – or me rambling.
Also interesting discussion over lunch about need for flexibility/dynamic architecture or development without architecture/the expansion of end-user computing/the need to create whitespace/the need for the IT department to just say yes. End user computing as a response to the need to cut costs in central IT. Sounds good to me. In fact, hold on to your hats, it sounds like a paradigm shift! Phasers on stun, and me signing off, before things get ugly.