Burn the Ship Marketing (BSM) Scorecard BSM had very high-level buy-in on SOA.

Their CIO was a seasoned industry visionary and was very able to understand the potential benefit of SOA to the company’s business and business model. Their IT organization was also very clued up. Of course, they also failed to make it happen. Why was that? All the ingredients seem to be in place! This case study shows how important it is to have a good series of pilot projects that can show value. The scorecard for BSM is shown below:

Index Blue Circle – required maturity Red Circle – current maturity Scorecard Explanation: Infrastructure Level 2+ – BSM had a sophisticated setup. They spent a significant amount of time and money building out their SOA infrastructure. In fact, they had things like Web services orchestration, BPM, and rules engines, which one would typically expect to see at Level 2/3. They also spent some significant time performance testing the infrastructure to ensure that it would scale in the appropriate way. Level 1+ – Why not more? EA is supposed to be a growth engine for business, and in this case, drove them nowhere! As far as their SOA architecture goes, they had a clear view of the SOA architecture that they needed to build their solutions to. They did carry out an SOA impact assessment – primarily focused on the way that their solutions would be built and delivered. They even implemented all the core technical and data services that they would need. They did not get around to building the business services and didn’t have a SOA Roadmap that was linked to projects that had to be implemented. So we penalize them for this. Level 1+ – We were told that BSM are data dogs – placing a strong emphasis on using information and analytics to drive business performance. We give them the benefit of the doubt a Level 1+. Level 1+ – They developed an operational model for services and deployed a Web services management solution – some of the requirements for Level 2.


Information Operations

Level 1 – We had no information from the case study on project execution. Finance & Portfolio Level 1+ – BSM clearly had large funds dedicated to building out an Enterprise SOA platform with shared services extending to both foundation services and business services. They never built a service portfolio plan. They did not get around to building business services and didn’t have a SOA roadmap that was linked to projects that had to be implemented. They also did not (critically) incrementally apply SOA to their existing projects. The people that were building the SOA infrastructure were not in fact involved in existing projects. This critical mistake lead to them going down a path of building infrastructure that was never used in any projects! People & Organization Level 2 – BSM had an active EA group with enterprise wide charter that had high-level executive backing. They also start to align their personnel with their SOA roles and responsibilities. They had all that is required at Level 2. Governance Level 1+ – There was a SOA Strategy, but no SOA Roadmap that would be governed, and no key metrics for success. It’s clear that poor governance was one of the key determinants of failure. BSM’s governance mechanisms were pretty weak. IT did not have to produce anything for all the investment that was going into the infrastructure. Their poor governance ultimately leads to their SOA initiatives being dropped! Business was certainly sold on the benefits of SOA, and was very clear about how it would help them overcome their challenges in the market – commendations to the CIO who linked IT and business strategy in a major way! However, there was hardly any communication with the business side – marketing, sales, and finance – which could have all helped to drive requirements. And of course, the SOA effort was completely decoupled from mainstream product delivery. The moral of this particular case study is that you have to make SOA adoption real! Do it one project at a time but have a vision that clearly charts out how you are going to apply SOA to your business and build your SOA architecture one project at a time. BSM should have really been much tighter on the IT spend, and the governance committee, should have kept a tighter leash on what their SOA $ were actually funding. Since no business value was every shown or delivered, it was really doomed to failure. BSM really did burn the ship when it got to their SOA adoption – they went all or nothing. Although there is nothing wrong per se with this approach, it does leave you exposed. And when you make mistakes, you have no other option but to revert back to the old way of doing things, because the plug is usually pulled on you and the only way is down. Long live the Big Bang! [NOTE: of course, what we mean is that the big bang only works properly if you do most things right. Otherwise, it blows up in a puff and there is nothing left to show for it – as in this case!]

Project Execution

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