Friday, January 8, 2010

Architect Sketch

There's nothing like a little architecture humor in these challenging times. The link to this UTube video came from a IT blog posting. I get these IT alerts because the organization of computer code is also referred to as architecture. I always delete these, but this one got my attention.



Here's the full blog posting, but I found the following conclusions insightful:

"... before building your design you need to know what your mission requirements are.  And you need a good relationship with your customers and how they serve the mission.

If there was ever any doubt of that, I’d like to point out a great example highlighted by Monty Python in a skit named… “Architect Sketch.” In it John Cleese plays an architect who seems to have created his design without an approved business architecture. The result is a design that does not meet the intended mission needs. (In the same sketch, Eric Idle, seems to have a design that reflects mission needs, but shows signs that it might not be executable).

The sketch is a great way to drive home many lessons in IT architecture, don’t you think?  Here are a few that come to mind:

  • IT customers should very clearly spell out the requirements that need solving (by the way, most are are not very good at this)
  • IT architects must ensure they are designing to mission needs
  • Sometimes poor technical designs are picked because they are the only thing that comes close to meeting the mission
  • Sometimes designs are picked because of relationships
  • ... another point this skit humorously highlights.  In the end, the customer choose the poor technical design over the good one because it was closer to meeting the mission, and because the architect had a relationship with the customer, as evidenced by the well executed masonic secret handshake.

    Lesson overall: Good enterprise IT is always about people and the mission.  When enterprise IT is designed without a good understanding of the mission, disaster can result."


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