|By Ted McLaughlan||
|December 4, 2012 10:23 AM EST||
"Selling" the discipline of Enterprise Architecture (EA) in the Federal Government (particularly in non-DoD agencies) is difficult, notwithstanding the general availability and use of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) for some time now, and the relatively mature use of the reference models in the OMB Capital Planning and Investment (CPIC) cycles. EA in the Federal Government also tends to be a very esoteric and hard to decipher conversation - early apologies to those who agree to continue reading this somewhat lengthy article.
Alignment to the FEAF and OMB compliance mandates is long underway across the Federal Departments and Agencies (and visible via tools like PortfolioStat and ITDashboard.gov - but there is still a gap between the top-down compliance directives and enablement programs, and the bottom-up awareness and effective use of EA for either IT investment management or actual mission effectiveness. "EA isn't getting deep enough penetration into programs, components, sub-agencies, etc.", verified a panelist at the most recent EA Government Conference in DC.
Newer guidance from OMB may be especially difficult to handle, where bottom-up input can't be accurately aligned, analyzed and reported via standardized EA discipline at the Agency level - for example in addressing the new (for FY13) Exhibit 53D "Agency IT Reductions and Reinvestments" and the information required for "Cloud Computing Alternatives Evaluation" (supporting the new Exhibit 53C, "Agency Cloud Computing Portfolio").
Therefore, EA must be "sold" directly to the communities that matter, from a coordinated, proactive messaging perspective that takes BOTH the Program-level value drivers AND the broader Agency mission and IT maturity context into consideration.
Selling EA means persuading others to take additional time and possibly assign additional resources, for a mix of direct and indirect benefits - many of which aren't likely to be realized in the short-term. This means there's probably little current, allocated budget to work with; ergo the challenge of trying to sell an "unfunded mandate".
Also, the concept of "Enterprise" in large Departments like Homeland Security tends to cross all kinds of organizational boundaries - as Richard Spires recently indicated by commenting that "...organizational boundaries still trump functional similarities. Most people understand what we're trying to do internally, and at a high level they get it. The problem, of course, is when you get down to them and their system and the fact that you're going to be touching them...there's always that fear factor," Spires said.
It is quite clear to the Federal IT Investment community that for EA to meet its objective, understandable, relevant value must be measured and reported using a repeatable method - as described by GAO's recent report "Enterprise Architecture Value Needs To Be Measured and Reported".
What's not clear is the method or guidance to sell this value. In fact, the current GAO "Framework for Assessing and Improving Enterprise Architecture Management (Version 2.0)", a.k.a. the "EAMMF", does not include words like "sell", "persuade", "market", etc., except in reference ("within Core Element 19: Organization business owner and CXO representatives are actively engaged in architecture development") to a brief section in the CIO Council's 2001 "Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture", entitled "3.3.1. Develop an EA Marketing Strategy and Communications Plan." Furthermore, Core Element 19 of the EAMMF is advised to be applied in "Stage 3: Developing Initial EA Versions". This kind of EA sales campaign truly should start much earlier in the maturity progress, i.e. in Stages 0 or 1.
So, what are the understandable, relevant benefits (or value) to sell, that can find an agreeable, participatory audience, and can pave the way towards success of a longer-term, funded set of EA mechanisms that can be methodically measured and reported? Pragmatic benefits from a useful EA that can help overcome the fear of change? And how should they be sold?
Following is a brief taxonomy (it's a taxonomy, to help organize SME support) of benefit-related subjects that might make the most sense, in creating the messages and organizing an initial "engagement plan" for evangelizing EA "from within". An EA "Sales Taxonomy" of sorts. We're not boiling the ocean here; the subjects that are included are ones that currently appear to be urgently relevant to the current Federal IT Investment landscape.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 5, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,477
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
May. 5, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,196
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
May. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,126
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at Sapphire Ventures Next-Gen Tech Stack Forum in San Francisco. Obviously, I was excited to join the discussion, but as a participant the event crystallized not only where the larger software development market is relative to microservices, container technologies (like Docker), continuous integration and deployment; but also provided insight into where DevOps is heading in the coming years.
May. 5, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 225
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
May. 5, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,024
In a crowded world of popular computer languages, platforms and ecosystems, Node.js is one of the hottest. According to w3techs.com, Node.js usage has gone up 241 percent in the last year alone. Retailers have taken notice and are implementing it on many levels. I am going to share the basics of Node.js, and discuss why retailers are using it to reduce page load times and improve server efficiency. I’ll talk about similar developments such as Docker and microservices, and look at several compani...
May. 5, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 830
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
May. 5, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,081
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...
May. 5, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,512
Admittedly, two years ago I was a bulk contributor to the DevOps noise with conversations rooted in the movement around culture, principles, and goals. And while all of these elements of DevOps environments are important, I’ve found that the biggest challenge now is a lack of understanding as to why DevOps is beneficial. It’s getting the wheels going, or just taking the next step. The best way to start on the road to change is to take a look at the companies that have already made great headway ...
May. 5, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 491
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
May. 5, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,149
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
May. 5, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,352
I have an article in the recently released “DZone Guide to Building and Deploying Applications on the Cloud” entitled “Fullstack Engineering in the Age of Hybrid Cloud”. In this article I discuss the need and skills of a Fullstack Engineer with relation to troubleshooting and repairing complex, distributed hybrid cloud applications. My recent experiences with troubleshooting issues with my Docker WordPress container only reinforce the details I wrote about in this piece. Without my comprehensive...
May. 4, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,006
From the conception of Docker containers to the unfolding microservices revolution we see today, here is a brief history of what I like to call 'containerology'. In 2013, we were solidly in the monolithic application era. I had noticed that a growing amount of effort was going into deploying and configuring applications. As applications had grown in complexity and interdependency over the years, the effort to install and configure them was becoming significant. But the road did not end with a ...
May. 4, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 711
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
May. 4, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,254
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
May. 4, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,629
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
May. 4, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,710
Small teams are more effective. The general agreement is that anything from 5 to 12 is the 'right' small. But of course small teams will also have 'small' throughput - relatively speaking. So if your demand is X and the throughput of a small team is X/10, you probably need 10 teams to meet that demand. But more teams also mean more effort to coordinate and align their efforts in the same direction. So, the challenge is how to harness the power of small teams and yet orchestrate multiples of them...
May. 4, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 549
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
May. 3, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,956
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
May. 3, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,166
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,650