Blogger: Richard Watson
I’ve followed my own advice this week and stepped out of my comfort zone. This week’s Burton Group Inflection Point podcast features my foray into socio-organizationomics to discuss social capital as the secret sauce in SOA success stories. Here's the direct link to the audio. All InflectionPoint podcasts are also available on iTunes.
Our much discussed SOA contextual research study earlier in the year involved dozens of service-oriented architecture (SOA) initiative leaders. The goal was to uncover in-depth data on SOA roadmap dynamics and success factors. This contextual research study and the hundred of discussions we’ve had with our clients over 5 years, confirms our position – a position now resonating widely - that the greatest challenges to SOA success are cultural and organizational, rather than technical.
If you’ve listened to the podcast, here’s a list of complementary references you may find valuable:
Robert D. Putnam. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Putnam discusses social capital in the context of community and political participation. A seminal and important book.
Todd Biske. SOA Governance. Birmingham & Mumbai: Packt, 2008. Todd is spot on in focusing on the team interactions in (fictional enterprise) Advasco’s SOA Centre of Excellence.
Joe McKendrick. "The beatings will continue until SOA governance improves". Service Oriented Blog. Joe on the failure of getting things done in a command-and-conquer environment.
For more information on adopting an agile development process, the (Burton Group subscription needed) Application Platform Strategies overview “Agile Software Development: Not for Lightweights is a great introduction.
My recently published update to our Methodologies and Best Practices document (Burton Group subscription needed) Building the Business Case for Service Oriented Architecture Investment, which refreshes our recommendations and insights for surviving the SOA business-case process.
If you have your own social capital stories, I’d be really interested to continue the discussion in the comments area.
By the way, that comment about getting out of my comfort zone was just an old attention grabbing trick. As Enterprise architects, we need to be finely attuned to the social and organizational aspects of applying IT solutions in a business context, as Mike Rollings reminds us in (free research report) Enterprise Architecture is More than Engineering.