Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Build, Buy or Reuse: Services

The one of the most flaunted benefit of SOA is reuse of services. But it is one of the least used aspects of SOA. But Why so?

In enterprises there is no framework exist which can evaluate a service/service requirement which help in reach a decision of Build, Buy or Reuse. To fill up this gap, I have developed a framework. This framework has three aspects:

1. Appraisal Structure
2. Evaluation Criteria
3. Influencers

Appraisal Structure

The Appraisal Structure offers a classification for the types of considerations within the context of the business. The considerations and decision to build, buy or reuse fall into the following categories:

a. Strategic
b. Tactical
c. Operational
d. Business
e. Technical

Strategic considerations deal with the long-term vision and direction of an enterprise. These include:

• Market Share and Differentiation
• Growth
• Strategic Change Management

Tactical considerations deal with the short-term decisions and direction of an enterprise. These include:

• Current Project Portfolio
• Cash flow considerations
• Time consumption considerations

Operational considerations deal with the operational aspects of a project or a portfolio of enterprise. These include:

• Governance
• Change Management
• Skills
• Support and Maintenance

The business considerations are the ones that support the short- to medium-term objectives of the business. These include:

• Contract Management
• Depreciating of Assets
• Internal or External Provision

Enterprise have a technical strategy—one that states what technologies can be used and for what purposes. Considerations in this category include:

• Technology Considerations
• Technology Choice
• Interoperability/Integration
• Repository of Assets

Evaluation Criteria

There are eight Evaluation criteria identified eight attributes that affect Build, Buy or Reuse decision of services.

• Delivery Time
• Complexity
• Investment
• Expense
• Maturity
• Requirements compromise/match
• Maintenance
• Support


There are five influencers. Each influencer has attractive and repulsive force field. Which force field will be more effective depends upon particular scenario – internal and external environmental conditions.

• Investment: It has one of the strongest force field – attraction as well as repulsive. This influencer has numerous aspects such as remaining cost-neutral RoI, profitability, affordability, and finally the cost implications of not doing it.

• Expenses: This influencer affect any decision on continuous basis. Investment and expenses in combination cover financial aspect of Build, Buy or Reuse decision. Like Investment, Expense also has multiple views – Cash Flow, ToC, etc.

• Quality: In market one with right quality wins keeping other parameters constant. Therefore Quality of Service (QoS) plays major role while making Build, Buy or Reuse decision. This influencer is also multi facet. Most of the abilities or non functional requirements are covered under Quality head.

• Time: In fast changing environment time is very critical. Time to market is one of the important parameter which affects Build, Buy or Reuse decision.

• Sustainability: Due to fast pace of technological and business environment evolution, obsolesce of a particular service and effort needed to keep it updated drives Build, Buy or Reuse decision.

The framework is very general in nature. It must be tweaked to a particular enterprise business environment, vision, goal, objectives and tactical needs.

Reference: The Architectural Journal (Microsoft) 20

Friday, August 14, 2009

Top 16 lessons from Real world BPM Projects


• Start with an low hanging fruits – easy to implement, least politicized
• Document the process in detail
• Establish a simple ROI metric for initiative that is meaning for business
• Do engineering not over engineering
• Insist on multiple iterations
• Use business process needs to compare offerings
• Hire help
• Plan for enterprise convergence
• Change is inevitable
• Work in cooperation with process improvement (Six Sigma, Reengineering, Lean etc) initiatives.


• Revolution in process engineering
• Go overboard with process performance metrics
• Wait for complete consensus on the new process before getting something up and running
• Allow Scope creep
• Focus on technology instead of Business functionality of BPMS
• Try implement complex process in first go

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Enterprise Process Assets

Enterprise Process Assets are artifacts which facilitate execution, maintenance, retirement and improvement of a process. Enterprise Process assets can be categories into:

· Processes and Procedures
· Corporate Knowledge Base

Processes and procedures are part of any Enterprise Assets because a process or procedure facilitates lifecycle of another process. For example retirement process manages retirement of a process.

Corporate Knowledge Base forms large chunk of Enterprise Process Assets. It get accumulated a various projects get executed. Few of the examples of Enterprise Process Assets which are of Corporate Knowledge Base are:

· Formal and informal plans
· Policies
· Lesson learned
· Risk data
· Historical information
· Earned Value data
· Process measurement data
· Project files from previous projects
· Issue and defect management data

Enterprise Process Assets management is of very important to manage processes and projects in efficient manner.