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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Cultural Issues -- Why Executive Buy-In Matters

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You've heard it plenty of times in this blogsite -- organizational and cultural issues will put the kibosh on SOA much faster than any technical concerns that may arise.

Here's more proof.

In a new article, SearchSOA's Rich Seeley describes how Babcock Power Sales Inc.employed service-oriented architecture to integrate different systems and produce "a single version of the truth." The goal of the SOA was to ensure that every department was working with the same metrics for tracking time and money spent on projects. However, aligning the organization can be as complex or even more complex than resolving the technical issues, the firm found.

While the company was able to successfully deploy an enterprise project management integration appliance, the SOA team had to work through issues that rose between departments. Problems arose in defining terms so that every department was talking about the same items when they appeared on project management schedules and reports. The goal is to have a "single view of the truth" that everyone agrees on so there is no confusion when project management status reports are given to the management and executive levels.

Top management had to intervene. Fortunately, top management was willing to keep its hand on the till -- spurred in part by the need to keep project management costs well documented, as stipulated by Sarbanes-Oxley. As Scott Duckworth, who was in charge of IT management for the project, explained: "Sarbanes-Oxley made poor project management a crime. Now, we're responsible if we don't manage projects to budgets and schedules."

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In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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