Starting a business architecture practice is definitely hard work, but building a sustainable practice is even harder. The data I am seeing is that 60% of business architecture initiatives are failing. The biggest challenge in moving from startup to sustainable practice is that the enablers for starting and propelling a startup forward are not the same enablers that will successfully sustain it over time.
The most common request I get from soon-to-be and new business architects is, “Can you help me find the quick wins and low hanging fruit?” This makes me want to pull my hair out and scream. Just listen to yourself! Really? What is the basic problem that business architects hope to solve? We want business leaders to think and act more strategically and holistically. What are they doing that frustrates us so much? They are going for the quick wins and low hanging fruit.
Fruit for thought:
If you go for the quick wins, how do you intend to show different results? Is low-hanging architecture fruit somehow sweeter than low-hanging business fruit?
What do you think the factors are that push business leaders into continuous short-term thinking and siloed action? Do you think it might be that their stakeholders want them to go for the quick wins and low hanging fruit? How do you plan to avoid the same trap?
If you give your stakeholders a bushel of low hanging fruit, you will make them happy. But, will you have created credibility as an architect and strategist?
I know many of us feel like we have to pick some low hanging fruit to get our foot in the door. That might be ok if you have a really good plan to quickly move beyond fruit picking to tree planting. Otherwise, you are going to be stuck in the same place as everyone else. What’s your plan?
If you cannot convince your sponsor that a longer term, enterprise view is the right approach for you, why do you think you can get others to buy into your message?
Picking the low hanging fruit is the easy work. If you think business architecture is easy, you might want to rethink your career choices.
The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________
One of the biggest complaints I hear from business architects is, “We spend too much time on project level work.” If you want to do strategic work, then DO it.