Thursday, May 20, 2010

Architecture and Vision

One of the key aspects of OSS/ENMS Architecture is that you need to build a model that is realizable in 2 major product release cycles, of where you'd like to be, systems, applications, and process wise. This equates usually to an 18-24 month "what it needs to look like" sort of vision.


- It provides a reference model to set goals and objectives.
- It aligns development and integration teams toward a common roadmap
- It empowers risk assessment and mitigation in context.
- It empowers planning as well as execution.

What happens if you don't?

- You have a lot of "cowboy" and rogue development efforts.
- Capabilities are built in one organization that kill capabilities and performance in other products.
- Movement forward is next to impossible in that when something doesn't directly agree with the stakeholder's localized vision, process pops up to block progress.
- You create an environment where you HAVE to manage to the Green.
- Any flaws or shortcomings in localized capabilities results in fierce political maneuvering.

What are the warning signs?

- Self directed design and development
- Products that are deployed in multiple versions.
- You have COTS products in production that are EOLed or are no longer supported.
- Seemingly simple changes turn out to require significant development efforts.
- You are developing commodity product using in house staff.
- You have teams with an Us vs. Them mentality.


- Products start to become "Blockified". Things become easier to change, adapt, and modify.
- Development to Product to Support to Sales becomes aligned. Same goals.
- Elimination of a lot of the weird permutations. No more weird products that are marsupials and have duck bills.
- The collective organizational intelligence goes up. Better teamwork.
- Migration away from "Manage to the Green" towards a Teamwork driven model.
- Better communication throughout. No more "Secret Squirrel" groups.

OSS ought to own a Product Catalog, data warehouse, and CMS. Not a hundred different applications. OSS Support should own the apps the the users should own the configurations and the data as these users need to be empowered to use the tools and systems as they see fit.

Every release of capability should present changes to the product catalog. New capabilities, new functions, and even the loss of functionality, needs to be kept in synch with the product teams. If I ran product development, I'd want to be a lurker on the Change Advisory Board and I'd want my list published and kept up to date at all times. Add a new capability. OSS had BETTER inform product teams.


  1. I used to work at a place that was that phucked up. It was more comfortable digging my eye out with a spoon than trying to get them to change. Oddly, the good ole boy network wins in the end at that joint but the company will be doomed in the end anyway when it dies just as Darwin suggests because they'll never change.

  2. wow! How interesting. I have been working at a place where they cannot seem to move off of old platforms. We have 5 different platforms and are still growing. I think that this shows a lack of vision and a lack of understandin g of the problem we have.