You may have noticed that I have spent a LOT of time with planning in this blog.
The silences should have told you I was also DOING stuff too.
Architecture planning doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
As the plan is developed, it’s good to observe what is going on in the environment.
- How are the relationships with and between the stakeholders?
- What concerns about the architecture (both existing and potential target) have come up in the interim?
- Have any new initiatives or projects appeared that impact your architecture?
These observations will provide more intelligence around direction than just asking people.
I still strongly recommend running your observations and conclusions by a few trusted stakeholders and a few interested outside observers that you also trust.
Here is where things can get sticky and dangerous.
You are threatening to change things.
Change is scary.
And if you are already working in an unstable environment, it can be even scarier.
- Are you inadvertently threatening their job?
- How much time did the other party spend building his/her current system? (You may be threatening their baby.)
- Is there a chance they may feel like you are overstepping your boundaries / getting in their business?
And, particularly in a strongly hierarchical organization, do they even feel like you have the authority to make these recommendations?
Managing upward among your ENTIRE management chain helps here before engaging with your more sensitive stakeholders. They all need to be on the same page with the same message. Otherwise, you are wasting your time.
As you may have guessed, the target for the architecture is going to be a bit wider than may be comfortable.