Upcoming Webinar on SOA Pilots

Alex Rosen and I will be giving a webinar next Friday on the role of pilots in achieving SOA success. I haven’t blogged on SOA Pilots in quite some time (March 23rd of last year, to be exact). It’s always interesting to go back and read some of my past posts to see how my thinking has evolved. I had quoted the ZapThink guys, as well as Miko Matsumura in that entry, stating:

Miko stated that the only ones getting it right were ZapThink, who state that “the things you do in a pilot are the exact opposite of what you need to do to get to enterprise scale.” For the record, I agree. This all comes down to defining the pilot properly. In their book, “Service Orient or Be Doomed!” Jason and Ron call out three SOA Pilot essentials: an architectural plan (the pilot will cover some portion of it), a specific scope, and clear acceptance criteria.

There shouldn’t be much controversy over these, but yet, the case studies and whitepapers that I see presented don’t have these elements, and it’s usually because the study is equating web services usage with SOA. Taking a user-facing customer portal and extending it by allowing customers to integrate their systems directly can be a good thing, but is it really an SOA pilot?

I went on in the entry to lock in on the subject of culture change, stating: “a proper SOA pilot is to pick a problem that will require the organization to see the cultural changes that are necessary to become a service provider.” I still think that this is the case, however, I would also say that I was being just as narrow as the teams that strictly focus on using Web Services for the first time.

What you’ll find in the webinar is that SOA adoption involves many dimensions. One of those dimensions is technology based. Another dimension is cultural. I’ve been working with my colleagues on a maturity model that outlines these dimensions and the stages that an organization goes through across all of them. Pilot efforts should cover all of these. It may be done in one large program, or there may be several pilot projects. Every organization is different, therefore, there is not a one size fits all project that every organization should embrace.

If this sounds interesting to you, then I encourage you to sign up here, and listen in on Friday the 16th, at 1pm Eastern Time (Noon central, 10AM Pacific).

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