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Executive Summary on the Ivory Tower Syndrome

#architecture #clarity #velocity #direction

This is the executive summary of last week’s post, Oh please, get down from the ivory tower and get something done!

EA Ivory Tower Syndrome

When does it happen?

The Ivory Tower Syndrome describes an often seen drift of EA initiatives dealing mostly with themselves focusing solely on strategic management while already having lost traction and therefore acceptance by the ground force.

Why does it happen?

Some EA initiatives tend to focus more on strategic reporting to upper levels and try to govern by code of law only. But, the ground force in terms of actual projects and product development, needs support for their huge amount of concise work that has to be done with granted budget and milestones. In a law-only approach they feel like not being supported but only punished (missing the carrot in “carrot and stick”).

A common misconception of EA initiatives of companies is that they can work like political government and urban planning. But, as analogy of how e.g. power grids are managed (or water grids, gas grids, metro systems, and so on), companies often only provide a fraction of needed services.

How to avoid and improve?

  • An adequate EA authority shall be balanced with a compact code of law.
  • The EA authority shall collaborate with other authorities like revision and portfolio manager.
  • Do not be jurisdictional because companies have no jurisdiction compared to politics and urban planning.
  • Align objectives of managers with your EA strategy or vice versa.
  • Implement cost saving services for each of your laws (get the tiger some teeth).
  • Include projects and product development in a community. Communicate outstanding achievements. Recognized employees drive acceptance for you!