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Friday, June 23, 2006
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In continuing the conversation, Brenda asks:

How about that "elusive" governance? How do you sell Governance to IT and Business Leadership? Where do you get the money for people, process and tools? How do you convince people "Governance is good for you" rather than "Governance is a roadblock"?

Governance is fast becoming one of my favorite topics because it is so critical to the success of a SOA and I am dealing with various aspects of it on a daily basis. This is SO NOT a technology issue (like much of SOA) but one of culture.

How do you convince people "Governance is good for you" rather than "Governance is a roadblock"?

I'm going to paraphrase one of my favorite folks in this space, Anne Thomas Manes of the Burton Group, who I have heard answer this particular question more than once:  "By making sure that the path that implements Governance is the path of least resistance!". What she means of course is to make it easy for folks to do the right thing by making sure that doing the right thing is the least onerous course of action.

You could do this by perhaps reducing the hoops one has to jump through if you are following the right process or by providing rewards and incentives (what those would be depends on the culture of your organization) for doing the right thing.  I think that it is also important that the folks who are going to be "governed" have a say in what the governance policies should be either by having an opportunity to provide revisions/feedback to the processes or by being part of the team that is coming up with the governance processes. Having a say in how things are going to be implemented gives people a sense of shared ownership in the process.

How do you sell Governance to IT and Business Leadership?  Where do you get the money for people, process and tools?

I know that in my environment, facets like Security, Interoperability, Traceability and Metrics are critically important and as such those are things that I would be hammering on to get buy-in.  In general, I do not know if I would actually sell "Governance" as a concept because it is such a loaded term. My inclination would be to sell the benefits of Governance which at a high level is the concrete articulation of what your organization considers the right thing/best practices. The ability to apply these best practices in a consistent manner across your SOA initiative is a powerful incentive. On the other hand it could very well be about the "Stay out of Jail" card that is needed to make sure that you are doing the right thing by certain industry specific compliance requirements. Again, a lot depends on the culture of your organization.

UPDATE 6/24/06: Todd Biske has some thoughts to offer on this topic (and more) as well.

6/23/2006 11:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time  |  Comments [0]  |  Disclaimer  |  Permalink   
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