Thursday, January 31, 2013

drEAmtime - Communication

I read a great post from Ivo Velitchkov about drEAmtime which i recommend to read. I will try to pickup Ivos observations and explore how I handle the things he mentioned. He put in a great way what I am also observing and where I therefore use a different approach, even though I am in the end just another Enterprise Architect.

To quote Ivo:
The strong IT smell of the EA language decreases the chance of the Business to believe that they would benefit from learning it and that explains the low motivation and buy-in. Even though the cognitive load for IT is much lower, seeing the willingness of the Business to ‘improve’ its literacy, IT people find better things to be busy with. And another funny point. When there is some buy-in by the Business, EA is put under IT, not between business and IT. Then EA people complain they can’t do much from there. But may be they are put there just because they can’t do much.
Well observed if you ask me. So what am I doing to handle this? First of all I focus on people:

That is easy to say and write, but what does it actually mean? Well, I invest in the interesting to reveal the relevant. And I do that by using the "normal" language, so no special words, no special approach and for sure nothing based on any given EA framework. Just nothing, plain talking in a well proven language. (This does of course work only if it is one of the two languages I mastered good enough so far. I am trying hard to add a third one, but it seems to be a long and difficult journey to success).

From an communication point of view I indeed believe that I should operate between IT and Business, but this is not based on having the title Enterprise Architect, but based on my interest in operating in two domains at the same moment in time. That allows me actually to love to talk IT talk and business talk. I have literally no demand to force IT and business into speaking the same language or force them through a very rigid process, because I stopped thinking to be an Enterprise Architect and started to know that I am. Therefore I operate between business and IT, even though from an organizational point of view I am at the moment located in IT.

So I just focus on repairing the information flow, which then allows to find better solutions, some of them supported by IT solutions, some of them not supported. Reality is though that most EA approaches (frameworks as much as people owning the title Enterprise Architect) I have seen so far are indeed not aiding and simplifying the communication but do add an enormous amount of cognitive load, which is literally impossible to understand for anyone not fully familiar with the various methods. I might find the time to explore the benefit of acting like that later, but for the moment the key message is: optimize the information flow by utilizing communication.

Comments as always more than welcome. It helps me to improve my thinking and understanding.

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