Monday, May 10, 2010

Are we Paid to Say No?

In a time when “yes we can” is the more popular battle cry, it seems software architects are still more aligned to turn down aspiring projects, due mostly to their roles as governance gatekeepers. This is not meant to criticize, as most enterprise-level software rejections are well scrutinized and evaluated before making such decisions. Software architects take their governance initiatives seriously, and I can say with a high level of confidence that most of these denials are highly justified. But, have we architects lost our entrepreneurial spirit, with governance as our defense? Are we over-scrutinizing new ideas and slowing down pilots of innovation because they don’t align with our governance policies and enterprise frameworks? Are we paid to say “no” more often then we say “yes”? How can we spearhead innovation instead of being too much of a police officer? The “Answer Lies Within”...

Look around
Where do you belong
Don't be afraid
You're not the only one

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within

Part of your governance role has to be to help inject new, innovation into the enterprise. Here are some tips to do just that so that the rest of the organization doesn’t view the Architectural Review Board as the Great Wall of China:

· Coach along projects you know are coming down the Pipeline instead of turning them back to the drawing board when it’s time to review them for acceptance (and therefore too late to help them…).

· Help seed projects from the early stages by proving mentoring at the beginning, not the end. In other words, become a venture capitalist of your organization by helping new software ideas align to governance early! Invest in the next enterprise “start-up”!

· Follow Agile Principles—do things earlier, not later in the lifecycle.

· Institute a Software Mentorship programs to benefit the organization. Being a champion without sharing your secrets to success is selfish. Help the greater good of the enterprise.

· Put governance in the backseat during the early stages of a pilot project. Help get prototypes off the ground by marginalizing governance (for the moment…). Some of the best innovations had to bend (or break) the rules. Be a game changer if you have to! Governance can always to adapted and applied at a later stage (not too late...), but don’t sacrifice innovation for indoctrination.

· Create a culture of excitement, encouragement, and positive attitude. If others think meeting with you is going to the Principal’s office that culture will limit and intimidate the organization. Nothing new will arise and instead creates a cultural bottleneck to the next “Big Idea”. Don’t be a bottleneck to new ideas…

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing and very true. We find good idea's rejected and bad projects approved all the time.