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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

Todd Biske's SOA Governance Book: Buy-it, Read-it, Live-it

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image Back in August -- when Todd Biske and I were talking about SOA Governance and football -- I had the privilege to read the first draft of Todd's now released SOA Governance book.  I say privilege because Todd wasn't looking for a back cover quote, he wanted honest feedback on his material. 

Lucky for me, the job was easy.  The draft was strong, in both content and readability.  Along the way, Todd and I had some great interchanges, such as successful governance models beyond command and control.  As well, I noted Todd's guidance on pre-project, project and run-time policies to test the completeness of my service meta models.

Now that I've read the published book, I want to augment my "buy-it, read-it, live-it" book review tweet.  So, here goes... 


5 Reasons to Read Todd Biske's SOA Governance Book

1. Todd's view of SOA Governance is outcome, rather than product, centric.  Todd defines SOA Governance as "the combination of people, policies, and processes within your organization that will ensure that the desired behaviors of your strategic SOA initiative are achieved". 

Examples of those desired behaviors, or outcomes, are "increasing the number of assets reused by 10% each year", "decreasing the average time to produce a solution by 10%" and/or "increasing the number of projects delivered by 10% each year". 

While Todd does speak to the technology / product categories that enable SOA governance, at no point does he equate (confuse) SOA governance with the acquisition / implementation of a registry, repository, service broker or runtime monitor. 

2. The management fable will resonate with any practitioner who has ever worked in corporate IT.  Todd explains SOA Governance in the context of the SOA journey of a fictional corporation.  The book follows Advasco's SOA advocates, implementers and adversaries from an early win, to the trials of sharing, through the mysteries of problem detection and resolution, and finally to SOA success.  As the tale unfolds, Todd points out problem areas, suggests corrective action and supplies best practices.

3. The reference chapter is worth the price of the book.  Even if management fables aren't your thing, you'll find Chapter 8, Establishing SOA Governance at Your Organization, to be an indispensable reference.  This chapter covers:

  • People: solution architect, business analyst, tech lead/domain architect, enterprise/technology architect, information architect, security architect, IT manager, service manager/owner, platform manager
  • Organization: Enterprise Architecture, COE/Competency Center, Review Boards
  • Policies: Pre-Project, Project and Run-time
  • Processes: Establishment, Education/Communication, Enforcement, Measurement
  • Technologies: Registry/Repository, Service Testing Platforms, ESB, XML Appliances, Security Gateways, Service Management Platforms, Service Invocation & Exposure Frameworks

4. The advice on governance -- policy establishment, communication, enforcement, measurement and feedback -- is pragmatic, not autocratic.  During their SOA journey, the Advasco team faces challenges where what's best for the architecture (long-run) isn't necessarily best for the business that day.  Instead of taking an architecture hard line, or business shortcut, the team considers options and implications, and makes pragmatic trade-offs.

5. Exhibiting good SOA form, the book is easily consumed and right-sized.

The book is available on Amazon and via the publisher.


[Disclosure: Todd Biske is a friend, one that I personally recruited into the SOA Consortium, for his thoughtful and pragmatic views on SOA, EA and business solution delivery].

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Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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