Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Three Dimensional Apartment Buidlings

Yesterday, I was driving my oldest daughter to school (she’s in Kindergarten) and she was very excited. On Thursdays, her class goes to the computer lab, and “computers are her favorite subject!” So, that night at dinner, I asked her what she did in computers. She told me that they went to a new web site that had a doodle pad. They were all supposed to draw a picture of something (I don’t remember what), and then they could draw whatever they wanted. I asked her what she drew, and she said, “A three-dimensional apartment building.” Not the answer I was expecting.

Anyway, what does this have to do with SOA? Well, first off, the fact that my 5 1/2 year old daughter is drawing “three-dimensional apartment buildings” in Kindergarten tells me that the pace of things, and the need for information for this generation is only going to grow. If this isn’t a reason to start building agility into our systems, I don’t know what is.

Second, a common analogy for enterprise architecture these days is that of city planning. How many of us can look at the “doodle pad” of our enterprise architecture and know where to place those three dimensional apartment buildings? Or, is your architecture have more parallels to the hot political potato of eminent domain? Are you having to bulldoze applications that were only built a few years ago whose residents are currently happy for the greater good? What about old town? Any plans for renovation? If you aren’t asking these questions, then are you really embracing enterprise SOA?

In talking to the computer teacher this morning, she said that my daughter had drawn a cube. A box. To her, it wasn’t just a box. It was a three-dimensional apartment building. One of the pieces of advice I had in my talk at the IQPC SOA conference in Chicago last October was “Think Outside the Box.” My 5 1/2 year old daughter is doing this. To be successful with SOA, someone in your organization has to be doing this. If you’re still thinking in terms of the application at hand, you won’t get there. Someone needs to have the responsibility to be looking for these opportunities. Not everyone can look at a vacant lot in the city, and envision what can happen by bringing the appropriate business to that lot. Not everyone can look at the open land on the outskirts of town and envision what it can become. Every successful city has someone who has done this, working with developers and the community at large to make it happen. Use this analogy, and find those planners in your organization who are not simply looking at one building or one subdivision. Find the ones who can look outside of the box, and build your services blueprint that you need to chart the future course.


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