Blind Date – A Transformation Approach

Architecture follows Strategy.  Project follows Architecture.

I would label myself as a ‘Hybrid Transformer‘  supporting technical and organisational transformations – following the one, given strategy. Doing it right translates typically to Architecture and Organisation as a Strategy!  And having worked within this context for quite a while what surprises me most is how badly companies are often prepared for huge transformations. Although spending two or often three digit sums of Million Euro seldom a clear strategy is defined nor is the base- or target-strategy,  -architecture or -organisation with its gaps documented and maintained at the beginning of or even during a project. After a visionary start companies often activate the ‘Program Auto Pilot’ and focus the technical tasks to migrating the one core to the next. Usually relying on third parties doing all the rest for you, but don’t really care for the development of your organisation as a whole. This might work, as a blind date works from time to time, if you find the one or two heroes for your fairy tale, but not very often. As a responsible person for huge transformations I would not only install an Architecture Office or an Architecture Board, hire Solution Architects to act as fire fighters,  I would implement, as one of my very first actions, a working Enterprise Architecture Process and Governance in order to control and manage not only my technology challenges, but also my architectural, organisational and strategic ones. Enterprise Management (EAM) is a rather mature discipline today. The tools and processes can be helpful and supportive applied carefully. The most popular one is TOGAF supported by the Archimate Modelling Language.  And TOGAF and Archimate are not only for techies. An ADM with its different viewports is helpful for everyone – from the developer to the CEO.

It constantly should tell you, where you are and where you want to go. And why!

If you start a huge transition program and you don’t find a working Enterprise Architecture with clear vision, business-,  architecture-baseline and target models aligned by defined processes and decision boards be very careful and ask necessary questions. (Strategy as a diagram – Credits to OpenGroup) A Blind Date can work, but it typically includes a lot more surprises than other dates. If you love surprises and firefighting don’t care for Enterprise- Architecture and -Management!