Feedback requested: Information driven process design

An esteemed associate of mine asked me recently if I believe that a conceptual information model, created and delivered independently from a process model, can be considered useful when attempting to improve a business.  In other words, if you have an conceptual information model, can you use it directly, or do you need to produce…


Understanding SOBA

Just ran across, quite by accident, a blog post from last spring from Johan den Haan on the "Architectural requirements for Service Oriented Business Applications."  This is a clear, consistent, well described web post on SOA and service architecture.  I recommend it highly.


Adopting a new technology like Oslo

Sometimes, when something new comes along, the best way to see it being useful is to see it being used.  Think about it.  If I went back to 1960 and visited a family somewhere in the midwest of the USA, and explained a “computer chip” to them, would they see value?  Maybe.  Probably not.  Life…


Creating a distinction between business services and SOA services

I’m always a bit dismayed when I hear the following terms mixed up, or combined: SOA service and business service.  In my mind, these things are different.  In one sense, they are related, but indirectly. A business service is a function (or capability) of the business that is offered to one or more customers.  Those…


Software Reflects The Process That Creates It

Of all the ‘laws of software’ that I subscribe to, this one is one of the most fundamental, and unwavering.  I cannot find an exception to it, and years of experience reinforce it for me.  I can look at a chunk of source code, or an operations manual, or even a build script, and see…


Using the PMO to measure the behavior of the customer

There are a great many products on the market these days that provide information about a set of projects.  The idea is to let the stakeholders know how well their money is being spent.  Information Technology departments often get criticized for "always asking for money" but never showing value, so Project Management Offices (PMOs) have…


The business value of elegant design

In my last post, I highlighted the design process, suggesting that designers and architects should consider using creativity, in addition to methods and patterns, to build a truly useful system.  In this one, I’d like to talk about the business value of this idea.  What does the business get by adopting good design practices? Before…


The bizarre assumption of functional decomposition

I ran into a friend today and, as friends often do, we let our conversation wander over the different "broken things" in IT in general (and a few in Microsoft in specific).  One thing that I’d like to share from that conversation: a truly bizarre assumption that we teach, over and over, to new programmers……


Non-Functional Requirements: the "All-Other" classification

I’ve seen various taxonomies of requirements.  Like all taxonomies, any set of requirement types exists to classify or partition requirements into coherent groups for further analysis.  Most break down the list of requirements into things reminiscent of "who or where the requirement comes from." For example, one taxonomy I’ve seen recently described: Business Requirements -…


"Correct" is a point of view

My friends in the Agile community have succeeded in drilling a concept into my thick skull so deeply that the concept shows up in other things I do.  What is that concept: don’t try to build the perfect app.  Build the least complicated app that will do the job.  Let the customer tell you when…