We continue to develop our thinking on SOA Adoption Roadmap as we work with customers. In this report I am mapping out the framework in a more orderly manner than I have done previously, and also taking the opportunity to introduce practical guidance on customization for various circumstances that I have encountered. I have also updated and structured our guidance on patterns.
This guidance note provides further structure in support of the SOA Adoption Roadmap Planning Work Packages and Tasks. It commences with a discussion of the Phases and Streams, and addresses customizing the approach for different circumstances plus adoption strategy.
Roadmap Structure. Introduction to Roadmap Phases
SOA adoption is a complex change management task requiring alterations in practices impacting a wide range of disciplines spanning IT and business. The ability of large enterprises to make profound change is limited by the complexity of existing application and technology portfolios and the need to continuously provide adequate support to changing business process and information requirements. For the typical enterprise therefore, achieving maturity in SOA will not happen without thorough planning that addresses the twin objectives of uninterrupted business support and SOA maturity, and ensures a sensible balance between them. In consequence transforming an enterprise to SOA will be a multi-year program.
A key technique in managing the SOA transformation is to phase the activity. In each phase clear targets for process improvement and asset development are set that enable progressive practice improvement.
Phases enable us to:
- Control or manage risk
- Manage investment – "just-in-time" development of advanced capabilities
- Control expectations – typically some classes of business benefit might only be possible in the later phases
- Align capability dependencies
- Coordinate and manage work of disparate groups – which will typically be loosely coupled, with cross-group dependencies defined at phase boundaries
Basic Phase Model
The basic Phase model has been developed to guide a typical large enterprise in constructing an SOA Roadmap and is in use by many corporations and government departments.
The focus of the Roadmap Phases is to coordinate the broad set of capabilities needed to deliver and use services that meet particular outcomes. Given the extent of change needed to fully adopt SOA it is strongly advisable to deliberately stage and constrain the nature of the outcomes such that an organization or enterprise evolves in a controlled manner to full competency and capability with managed risk. See below discussion on strategy.
The basic Phase model maps to a pattern which can be observed in many enterprises. In the early stages of SOA the primary requirement is to establish technical competence and capability. Major change in project organization is inappropriate and unjustifiable, until basic competencies are established and proven. Accordingly key capabilities need to be put in place to ensure early efforts are successful within some defined restrictions. Once confidence and trust has been established a more strategic approach is feasible, with much greater business involvement.
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