Monday, October 10, 2011

Dante's Inferno in IT...

We’ve all been through Dante’s Inferno. I know I have.

I was at one place where they developed an in house SNMP agent to be deployed on all managed systems. Because of the variety of operating systems supported and the amount of bugs in the software, many customers hated the agent and would request that the agent be taken off of their systems. But because the agent was “free”, it kept living in a miserable existence. Turns out there were many different versions supported and deployed. Additionally, the design of the agents’ sub-agents capabilities deviated significantly from industry standards such that it hamstrung the open source openness of the base agent.

Dante’s Inferno came in when you had to deal with the agent capabilities as an Architect. Saying anything negative related to the agent was Heresy. The Manager that owned the Agent would resort to Anger, Fraud, and Treachery in order to divert any negative attention to their baby. Part of the reason for hanging on to this Agent was that the ownership of more developed products promoted the Manager’s gluttony and greed. It was his silo of management technology.

While I was busy circumnavigating the Machiavellian Urinary Olympics, that Manager was working hard to put me in Limbo. Any requirements that I put forth were immediately in negotiation such that I could not finish requirements. Finally, in total frustration, I sent out a Final version of the requirements. Doing this sent the Manager into a frenzy of new Machiavellian Urinary Olympics such that my actions were elevated all the way up to a Sr. VP. Alas, I could not overcome the Marijuana Principle of Management (Harder you suck ,the higher you get!)

I left shortly afterward. So did several of my coworkers. Some are still there. All with the common experience that we’ve all been through Dante’s Inferno.

Lessons for the Architect :

  • Be careful in calling someone’s baby ugly. Given the “embeddedness” of a given politician, there may be some things you cannot change. 

  • Some Silos can only break down through years of pain and years of continued failure.

  • In moving toward Cloud computing models, some folks may have an inclination to bring with them all of the bad habits they have currently.

  • If a person has only ever seen one place, they may not understand that success looks totally different in other places.

  • There is a direct cost and an indirect cost to supporting internally developed products. If your internally developed product is holding back progress and new business, it is a danger sign…

As an Architect, be wary of consensus. “Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)”

No comments:

Post a Comment