Reading Roger Sessions (@RSessions) work on IT Complexity reminded me of a set of slides we created to articulate the value of IT Governance and Enterprise Architecture.
We (my colleague Dave Cresswell and I) used a simplified model to articulate why we needed to build our Enterprise Architecture practice. The central premise of the argument was that as functionality increases so does complexity. We proposed using IT Governance and Enterprise Architecture to help manage complexity. The slides resonated well with our senior leadership and in the many EA talks I have given over the years.
The example we use in the slides involves the change in functionality of collaboration services. (Note the curves shown are representative and not based on statistical data – so please no complaints about statisical significance) The slides show how collaboration functionality increased over time from green screen, text only email on the mainframe (IBM PROFS) through client server email (Lotus Notes) to fully web enabled collaboration spaces and community of practices. Unfortunately, the IT architectures used to deliver the new functionality increased in complexity at an even quicker rate. Where the two curves cross is a point of diminishing returns because more effort is spent managing the complexity resulting in no resources available to deliver the new functionality.
See the slides on my SlideShare here or in the Presentations tab of my blog. Looking forward to your comments and feedback. I am working on another post on Roger’s work and how I would like to leverage it … stay tuned!