Principles Drive Sustainable Change
People think governance and enterprise architecture are technical disciplines - they are really business management of technology. Making it about technology, makes it the realm of the very few, dictating to the many. Effective change does not often come from an oligarchy, and few businesses are really driven by technology.
However, it IS all about executive intent. You pay the big bucks for the people at the top, and yet, that superior knowledge and leadership seldom gets translated into the day-to-day behavior of the rank and file.
If you can articulate the core VALUES (principles) - statements that reflect why you make decisions the way you do - you have a good start to effective change, but only a start. These are not things, these are values - statements that reflect why you would make a decision one way or another.
How is this, you ask? We have principles defined, and yet we still struggle with decisions and change.
Most companies preach that they are customer focused
Not likely - at least not across the board.
Step 1 - Allocating Principles into Groups
No, core decision values need to be classified into affinity groupings - things like customer, business and employee perspectives. Through this, it will be immediately obvious that the customer perspective and the business perspective are opposed views.
Let me provide an example: You are a customer focused organization. Your users request a LINUX desktop computer. You are a Windows shop. You deny the CUSTOMER request, because the BUSINESS perspective - in this case, prudent financial management - dictates that the increased diversity in the environment, increases my software, and support costs.
SO, you behaved in a diametrically opposed perspective to the stated corporate principle - customer focused.
And you wonder why you have problems in consistent delivery.......
Step 2 - Prioritizing Values
Typically, principles are in conflict. You can’t equally apply every core value to every decision; it creates schizophrenic behavior - what I call the bible approach; pick chapter and verse to support whatever decision that you want to make.
In order to make principles work effectively, they must be allocated to the parts of your organization that behave synergistically. In developed this technique, various grouping were tried - most failed. The one that worked, is not immediately intuitive, but is highly effective.
Create a view of the business providing a consistent view of how technology is managed, irrespective of where, or by who.
This structure or view is NOT based on geographic, organizational, workflow, or business interaction; it is the I/T decision making view - where we make the same level of I/T investment around the management of technology. This provides consistent delivery characteristics (e.g. level of IT Enterprise Management, dollar investment, data criticality, etc – see appendices) and consistent value alignment against this view - a view facilitating all decisions against a consistent set of value criteria as defined by the Senior Leadership Team.
It is amazing to observe the resultant change in an organization. Call to find out more, and we can share some real world examples that will astound you!