Friday, August 31, 2012

GLUE Governance

Even though I promised to write about GLUE Journeys this is another topic I like to touch shortly.

I was challenged via twitter:
What is Governance, if not "sane and easy to understand rules, roles and responsibilities"?
I personally place Governance in the GLUE Space in Do Discovery, because it is the nature of Governance to inspect and connect and therefore support the transition from As-Is to To-Be and mitigate the friction in that.

I must admit, I have a tendency to stumble over governance proposals I see, which is in most cases just an emotion, a bellybutton feeling. I have learned to trust my emotions and feelings so normally I explore why I am uneasy with the governance at hand. Due to my role as Enterprise Architect I compare the governance with the architecture. And there I normally find the root cause for my feeling:
  1. Dysfunctional Do Defence: The governance structure is not aligned with the As-Is Architecture, and therefore not able to defend the existing.
  2. Dysfunctional Do Destination: The governance structure is not aligned with the To-Be Architecture and therefore not able to guide towards the future.
  3. Dysfunctional Do Discovery: The governance structure is only aligned with As-Is Architecture or To-Be Architecture.
  4. Dysfunctional Detect Defence: The governance structure does not have the needed information and facts about the current situation at hand to support an educated decision.
  5. Dysfunctional Detect Destination: The governance structure does not have the needed information and facts about the future situation at hand to support an educated decision.
  6. Dysfunctional Detect Discovery: The governance structure does not have the needed information and facts about the transition at hand to support an educated decision.
If one of the above statements is true then there is a high likelihood that Governance will lead to an unbalanced decision. And here I usually find the biggest threats and make my predictions about the success of an initiative.

“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”,
Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

So how to overcome the problem. Given the fact that there is a lot of influence from all sides it is sometimes literally impossible to enlighten towards a sane Governance. Depending on the nature of the influence it usually tips to one of the sides, either supporting As-Is or To-Be stronger. It rarely focuses on the transition which feeds a complete business: External Change Agents. Quite often these Change Agents are sourced via the very same Company which is delivering the new Solution. I believe that is highly risky, because now those who are supposed to support Do Discovery have their loyalty with those who Do Destination. Do Defence all of a sudden is isolated. If in a desperate situation that might be the right way to do it, but I highly doubt the long term success of that.
As an Enterprise Architect I try to provide guidance on setting up the right Governance by looking at the As-Is Architecture and owners of the existing Architecture. Furthermore I show the To-Be Architecture and therefore the needed Stakeholders which must own the future Architecture. If that is a different group of Stakeholders the initative will be very interesting in most cases, because friction is usually to come. On top of that I support in providing all facts I have at hand. Shared knowledge is double knowledge and typically the more relevant facts at hand the better the decision process. It is risky though that the relevant facts will be shed with interesting data. Preventing the anti-pattern "Lots of data, no facts" is a challenge in itself, especially because not all players are always interested in a holistic view. Actually in most cases only a very small portion is really interested to look holistic.
By providing holistic Enterprise Architecture input based on the relevant facts I believe others are able to hook in and support the overall vision and are also changing towards a more holistic approach. This require way more than good facts actually. I personally have more success if I do not only provide facts and information, but approach the persons behind the roles and statements they make due to their responsibilities.

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