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SOA World - Growing an SOA Garden

Turn flawed perspectives into something positive

Adopting SOA is a lot like gardening. It takes time, skill, a lot of hard work, and the process can be messy and even a bit frustrating at times. I know you’ve probably heard tons of different analogies that attempt to put SOA and governance into everyday terms and I’m sure that growing the SOA “garden” through governance won’t be the last. I began thinking about this when faced with a client who seemed to be coming at things from all the wrong ways and expected me to grow the whole garden in the week we had together. At the end of the engagement all parties walked away with something that was very successful, not because I tried to convince them to approach things differently, but because I focused on how the positive elements of what they were saying could be turned into actionable items going forward.

In these situations the client already knows what “garden” they want to grow. It’s our job to work with that vision, not convince them to grow a different garden, and simply help them avoid the “weeds” that will destroy what they’re trying to do. We are trying to teach them how to grow their own “SOA garden” so they’ll have the skills they need after we leave.

In my opinion consultants in SOA engagements may see an increasing number of these situations in the near future from clients who know they want to do SOA and have been hearing the drumbeat from the industry saying “Governance, governance, governance...” In these situations I think it will be successful to focus more on offering constructive guidance to turn whatever these companies, who want to do SOA and know they need governance, say to us into positive action.

Let’s take a look at some of the flawed perspectives that may be offered and how to turn them into something positive:

  1. We have SOA because we bought the products but now we need governance.
  2. We need all the details of governance today!
  3. Can you give us the governance artifacts from another company?
  4. How do we bring everyone to the same level of maturity?
  5. We think this will be part of our SOA governance, how do we make it happen?

More Stories By Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith is an application server and portal administration lead at Web Age Solutions.

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