A few weeks ago one of my colleagues, Samantha, spilled one of Conexiam’s shorthand phrases at a conference. She told everyone good architecture was all about “Time to latte. Everything else is just noise.”
She is right. We need to measure success by time to latte. We need to get rid of the noise.
When would you have time to go to Paris, or Vienna, or Sedona, sit at a nice cafe and enjoy a good latte? Just sit; listen to music; watch the world. Enjoy the latte. When we are working there is only one time: when we are done.
Being done is powerful. As an enterprise architect, I know I’m done when my work is being used to drive the change. In all senses of that transitive verb – Seriously look it up: Direct; impart inescapable energy; give shape… Drive the change is an excellent phrase. To be done, we have a lot to do. We must address the purpose of our work. Essentially:
- gather the minimum facts to be informed perform any necessary analysis to understand how the system works and must be changed to meet our stakeholders aspirations
- facilitate the inevitable trade-off between the stakeholders’ competing priorities
- document the architecture: any models, guidance, and constraint
- demonstrate in the governance process that I did not just make it all up
- publish & promote the work products.
Enough to keep several thoughtful, creative professions busy. Because it is work with no obvious stopping point, one can lose track of the win and stay busy doing more. More is not only pointless it is contrary to our avowed purpose of facilitating the creation of value.
The opportunity cost of good architecture is immense. Our Transformation practice can track our work producing billions in shareholder value. We can track annual cost savings in the hundreds of millions. We have customer awards.
How long should our stakeholders have to wait for that value? They have to wait until we are done. Until we are done our work isn’t being used to drive change.
Listen to Samantha; it is all about time to the latte. Every piece of work has a purpose. The effort more than the purpose is a waste. Late architecture is a waste. Unused architecture is a waste.
Waste is the antithesis of value. Get to the latte as fast as you can. Be done. Sit. Enjoy. Smug in the knowledge that as you sip you are creating value.
As Sam says, “Everything else is noise.”