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Aloof Schipperke (Aloof Architecture)  has hit the nail of the head, where is the conversation?

As I continued to ponder the topic, I came up with a list which reflects part of the problem.

• Projects are not conversations
• Meetings are not conversations
• Presentations are not conversations
• Email storms are not conversations

Hmm... Too bad we're talking about the lynchpins of modern business.”

So, we have newer smarter ways of having a one-sided conversation.

I remember many years back I sat in a number of sessions at Microsoft TVP with two gentlemen, Anthony Saxby and David Prebble, about some of the killer problems my FTSE was having at the time. We sat there for two days having conversations and both sides were sucking up information. The obvious standard answer was not the correct solution because of some killer detail that turned up on day two. Anthony & David not once mentioned product combinations until a white-board session on day three after they had heard what we had to say. For me this has always been the benchmark of how consultancy engagements should be.

Listen, Talk, Understand then Suggest.

I’ve sat in many sessions since with consultants that are in a rush to get to their Powerpoint presentation and it may as well have been a TV advert.

I learnt a lot from the experience with Anthony and David and crafted my own consultations around that. I may not now be the technical guy I once was but I have had the satisfaction that I’ve put in more well liked tech in as an Architect than I ever did as a developer and I can attribute it back to my experience at TVP.

So why are real conversations such a lost art? Why is it we pay so much lip-service to it but don’t actually do it?
I think the answer to that is time. There is so much pressure to deliver that many parts of the delivery process are shrinking and not in a good way, corners are getting cut everywhere. The irony is that decent solutions saves great chunks of time, the gift that keeps on giving, but it is an investment so you won’t see much of it because patience isn’t something our industry is particularly used to. 

Another observation I've made is that we use Business Analysts that are specialist in requirements capture these days, when was the last time your friendly IT vendor sent round one of those? More often than not, it's the pre-sales person or the account manager or the back-room techie who skills is to know how to actually work the product. Not the right skills-set then maybe? Just a thought.

Eileen Brown posted recently on the differences between Evanglism & Marketing. To me this is just an example of the IT industry evolution, roles performed under an old job title grow because of the additional attention and become specialism in their own right giving birth to a new full time job. how often have you heard someone boast "I could do this fulltime", "Or I'm doing the job of three people" the irony is, they probably are!


  Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:41 PM Main , Technical Architecture , Enterprise Architecture | Back to top

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