The importance of communication

My last two posts have actually generated a few comments. Any blogger appreciates comments because above all else, it means someone is reading it! I should improve my commenting habits on the blogs I follow, even if to say nothing more than I agree. To that end, as a courtesy to those who have commented, I recommend that all of you visit the following:

The reason I do this is because of the importance of the communication that these individuals publish as their time allows. If you follow James McGovern, a common theme for him to ask practicing architects to share their experiences. In reality, how much of what we practice could really be considered a competitive advantage? Personally, I think it would the majority of our efforts, not the minority. We all get better through shared experiences. It’s when those experiences are not shared for the common good that they are repeated again and again (of course, we’ll always have ignorance on top of that accounting for some amount of repeated mistakes, they’re not ALL due to lack of communication).

One blog I didn’t mention above, but would like to give special attention to here is Joe McKendrick’s SOA in Action blog. In addition to his ZDNet blog, Joe’s SOA in Action blog on eBizQ is intended to focus on the practitioners of SOA, not the vendors marketing it. So much of IT communication in the public domain is dominated by the vendors, not by the practitioners. This isn’t a knock at the vendors- they have some very smart people and put out some useful information, but I tend to think that product selection isn’t what is holding companies back from a successful SOA adoption. It’s like a big chess game. Each enterprise represents a pattern on the chess board. We must recognize the patterns in front of us and make appropriate decisions to move toward success. The factors involved in IT are far more complicated than any chess board. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew certain players in the enterprise could only move one space at a time, diagonally, or in an L? After all, governance is about generating desired behavior. If the roles and capabilities are not well communicated, desired behavior will be difficult to achieve.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m reading IT Governance. It would be great if Harvard Press would do a book like this on Service Oriented Architecture, with case studies riddled throughout, attempting to articulate the patterns of both the successful and the unsuccessful companies. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any such book (leave me a comment if you are). So, in the absence of it, your best bet is to follow the blogs of my fellow practicing architects and see what you can learn!

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