Target State Architecture without a Project
Today I found myself explaining why the Department or Domain I have been responsible for nearly 6 months has not Target State Architecture. Hmm.. you say.
Seriously – As an IT Architect responsible for a particular business domain in my company, one of the things I should create and maintain is the Target State Architecture. If you’re an enterprise architect, this is quite obvious. The problem I faced in developing target state though was the notion that in a Global Financial Crisis when a department head has decided they are not going to spend any money in the fore near future, the target state looks pretty much like the current. It’s not the Dream State we’re talking about. So, getting motivate to draw a diagram or write a description about something that isn’t likely to be is not fun.
How do you get people engaged
One of my favorite aspects of enterprise architecture is leading a group of people (workshop) through the journey of establishing a shared vision. That’s the best. Though many people think we architects like to sit with our Visio or whatever and draw pictures alone with our brilliant ideas. I’m really in it for the workshops – gimme a whiteboard any day!
If you need people in a workshop to get the Target State and nobody’s interested because they know their ain’t no money or project, you’re going to have trouble coming up with the Target State.
Ticking the box
I have to confess that I had gone through the motions and prepared something. It is colorful. It has Current State Blueprint, SWOT Analysis, and Hypothesis for the future at a rather high level. But now a project with a particular set of goals has come along and demonstrated that really isn’t good enough. So, I’m left a bit embarrassed – but really excited because the driver I need – the motive or catalyst for engagement – has come along.
I must really be a Solution Architect at heart because I am not really excited to get working on the Target State Architecture. People are motivated because a project has been commissioned – meaning there’s some money 🙂 And we’ve got reason to think the work we do on developing a shared vision will be put to good use guiding this project.
I’d like to hear back if any other Enterprise Architects have similar experience – almost a mental block – when there’s not a driver like a large project, a merger, etc.. motivating your architecture work.
While you’re contemplating this important thought, have a look at Bronte Beach Sunrise. Now that’s something to contemplate 🙂