Great Ideas Do Not Succeed On Their Moral Authority

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Technical staff often think that because an idea is a good, it should succeed of its own merit. In reality, one needs a good business case and solid effort in selling the value to the corporation. This presentation covers many of the pitfalls awaiting the person as the beginning selling their idea.

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  • The 20/60/20 Rule: 20% will love the idea and be excited to be on board. 60% are willing to be convinced. 20% would rather die than go along.
  • Examples of true costs: Retraining, integration with monitoring, instrumentation, release practices, continuous integration testing setup, establishing supporting environments (engineering, development, test, break/fix, DR) etc.
  • Great Ideas Do Not Succeed On Their Moral Authority

    1. 1. Great Ideas Do Not Succeed On Their Moral Authority<br />How to assess if your great idea has legs!<br />Carl A. Kessler III, AVP of Security Engineering, PNC<br />April 04, 2009<br />
    2. 2. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />2<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />The Idea Lifecycle<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />Q&A<br />
    3. 3. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />3<br />Abstract<br />“Great Ideas Do Not Succeed On Their Moral Authority” explores the challenge of taking an idea from “sale” to reality from the perspective of the Enterprise Architect.<br />Don&apos;t we all wish that when we have a great architectural idea everyone would see the wisdom, shed tears of joy, thank us profusely and implement away. Unfortunately, life and big corporations are not like that. The larger the corporation, the worse it gets. We&apos;ll look at the key realities in an organization (not in the architectural solution) that affect whether an idea is likely to be seen through to its successful end. We&apos;ll talk about organizational structures, decision rights, financial hurdles, business readiness, executive sponsorship, etc. My goal is for you to leave this meeting with a few hindsight 20/20 a-has and some insights for how to move forward on your current efforts.<br />
    4. 4. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />4<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    5. 5. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />5<br />Introduction<br />Take an Idea from Concept to Reality<br />There are different challenges at various phases in the idea lifecycle.<br />We will consider selling, implementing, expanding and optimizing the idea.<br />You should be able to map your efforts somewhere into this cycle.<br />The content here is as much from failures as it is from successes.<br />The<br />Idea<br />Lifecycle<br />
    6. 6. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />6<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    7. 7. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />7<br />Sell the Idea<br />No one cares...<br />Who feels the pain?<br />Are you selling to the right audience?<br />Are their minds at Capacity?<br />Is it your fault?<br />Because you&apos;re saying it.<br />Get a consultant to say it!<br />Because you’re selling architecture.<br />Sell why their life will be better<br />&quot;Sell Business Value, Not Architecture&quot;<br />
    8. 8. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />8<br />Sell the Idea<br />Part One: How can I make them understand?! <br />Could be you and your approach...<br />If high-level logic doesn&apos;t work, more detailed logic does not work “better”. <br />Emotion, relationships and &quot;pain&quot; drive action more reliably than a well defined argument.<br />You can&apos;t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion. The heart comes before the head. -- John Maxwell<br />You scare them.<br />Many folks cannot detach themselves emotionally from a problem. This actually implies they understand it enough to be scared.<br />Too much information. Finding the right balance between scaring them enough to spur action and scaring them into paralysis is hard. You can win the battle and lose the war.<br />
    9. 9. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />9<br />Sell the Idea<br />Part Two: How can I make them understand?! <br />What is the personality type of the one you are talking to?<br />Learn more at: http://www.discprofile.com/whatisdisc.htm<br />Some folks want summary, not detail.<br />Some folks want small talk, some don&apos;t.<br />Some want rationale to make sure its well thought out.<br />Some want to follow an established pattern.<br />What is their maturity as relates to the idea?<br />Do not underestimate this. As architects we tend to see several steps ahead of where we are, think Chess.<br />We recognize patterns in virtually everything, including often accurately assessing where our organization is going before it knows its going there.<br />Here&apos;s one of our axioms, &quot;You can&apos;t skip levels of maturity, you can only accelerate through them.&quot;<br />Does your audience have sufficient experience to appreciate the idea? If not, you will need to wait, collecting evidence in the interim to support your case.<br />
    10. 10. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />10<br />Sell the Idea<br />Part One: I had great support and it just died.<br />Did you fail to achieve &quot;orbital velocity&quot; in time?<br />Understand your IT cycle. At NCC the budget for next year is set in August and much of the design is done in 1Q if you&apos;re not in-flight by then, you&apos;ll get left behind.<br />Don&apos;t exceed your &quot;window of interest&quot;?<br />Often we want to have all the information complete and perfect, this can lead to long delay between management interactions which cause you to lose momentum.<br />Are there secondary impacts you haven&apos;t considered?<br />What do they need to do to get a higher rating?<br />How are bonuses calculated?<br />Does the company reward larger teams or &quot;efficient/effective&quot; teams?<br />Does it shift work from on team to another?<br />Show folks how this will move them to higher value activities.<br />
    11. 11. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />11<br />Sell the Idea<br />Part Two: I had great support and it just died.<br />Did you neglect the grass roots?<br />You had your 30 minutes with CIO and their direct reports.<br />They loved it, cried tears of joy.<br />Two weeks later they won&apos;t return your calls.<br />What happened?<br />(a) They patronized you...<br />(b) Your 30 minutes were great. They went back to their office and over the two weeks ensuing, in their staff meetings, project meetings and one-on-ones they heard five times a day in five minute chunks from PLs, Architects and Developers that your idea was cracked.<br />Develop positive &quot;chatter&quot; from the grass roots.<br />
    12. 12. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />12<br />Sell the Idea<br />“Bob” keeps holding me back!<br />Is Bob your boss?<br />Yes...<br />Ouch...<br />Convince Bob the idea has a manageable risk level and will bring him credit at review time. Make Bob successful.<br />No...<br />Is Bob a person with decision authority over the idea?<br />Yes...<br />Bide your time... Wait for the right opportunity... Force situations that will make Bob reconsider his position.<br />Encircle and overwhelm...<br />You may not want to waste time convincing Bob (see next point)<br />No...<br />The 20/60/20 rule...<br />Ignore Bob and focus on the other 80%.<br />
    13. 13. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />13<br />Sell the Idea<br />Part One: Not sure about presenting my business case...<br /> You have one right?<br />Don’t be afraid get some training for this and especially ask you LoB partners if they will let you review their business cases.<br />Is the cost quantifiable? Make sure you know the difference between what can be quantified and what you can quantify.<br />What scope are you trying to sell your business case in?<br />Project scope?<br />Typically can&apos;t be done for a really good &quot;enterprise&quot; idea. Good == significant $$ savings.<br />You will normally lose to expedience and &quot;perceptions&quot; of risk.<br />Asset Life-Cycle Scope?<br />
    14. 14. Sell the Idea<br />Part Two: Not sure about presenting my business case...<br /> You have one right?<br />Benefits<br />Show how costs accelerate. &quot;Chinese water torture costs.&quot; Data Center. Adding to the code base.<br />Inconsistency drives increased management costs and reduced flexibility. Multiple code bases, FTE, multiple management tools, etc..<br />Scale, scale, scale (the location, location, location of IT)<br />Compliance, compliance, compliance (the other location, location, location of IT)<br />Be careful of overselling flexibility if the business requirements don&apos;t actually call for it.<br />Costs (cost to execute)<br />Include true costs<br />Careful not to include costs the company would have to incur anyway.<br />The cost to remediate what is currently in production is too high? This is a problem in more mature enterprises.<br />Be careful about jumping too quickly to an ELA.<br />Software and hardware costs are typically less than half the overall cost to the organization when standing up a shared enterprise solution.<br />Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />14<br />
    15. 15. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />15<br />Sell the Idea<br />I couldn&apos;t get it funded.<br />Are you asking a line of business to fund a shared service?<br />How are enterprise efforts funded?<br />How are costs recovered?<br />
    16. 16. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />16<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    17. 17. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />17<br />Implement the Idea<br />We ran out of funds half way through and weren&apos;t able to do things right.<br />This is typically based on labor over runs or the late identification of the need for additional environments. Make sure you review the cost comments in &quot;Sell the Idea“<br />You underestimated the cost to promote the technology and enable folks to use it.<br />Folks are backing off..<br />Make the technology easy for folks to adopt.<br />Continue to sell, sell, sell.<br />Did you start with &quot;the willing and influential&quot;.<br />Start with someone that wants to work with you AND can influence others for you.<br />I can&apos;t keep up.<br />So don&apos;t. To achieve ultimate success, the idea has to be passed on to others. This starts by delegating during the implementation. By teaching/delegating you make yourself more valuable to organization, by hoarding you make yourself a risk.<br />
    18. 18. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />18<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    19. 19. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />19<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />No one would adopt it.<br />Review the &quot;secondary impacts&quot; from &quot;Sell the Idea&quot;, have you dealt with them?<br />Are you using the carrot or the stick?<br />Can you tell if folks should be using the idea?<br />I can&apos;t dispel the myth that the idea is risky.<br />Be prepared to acknowledge and address the risks.<br />Many people will cling to any risk, in order to maintain control.<br />Frankly, it&apos;s kind of boring now.<br />You&apos;re not the person to operationalize this, based on your personality type.<br />I have a better idea.<br />Beware of endlessly looping through &quot;Implement the Idea“<br />Having implemented the idea once, you should know how you would do it better.<br />Balance achieving your original value proposition with moving to &quot;Gen 2&quot;.<br />Architect with &quot;versioning&quot; in mind.<br />
    20. 20. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />20<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    21. 21. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />21<br />Optimize the Idea<br />Good ideas tend to make themselves obsolete. If nothing else, they are commoditized. Think of how many great ideas out there today are now commodity items? Take the constant innovation of the iPod as an example.<br />Don&apos;t get to married or pigeon holed to one particular idea. You’re more valuable to your business if you can apply your skills across multiple domains to improve whatever you are assigned to.<br />
    22. 22. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />22<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    23. 23. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />23<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />DO NOT use this presentation as a list of excuses, great ideas always face stout opposition<br />DO ASSESS your environment.<br />Consider a SWOT {Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; Threats}<br />Cover all dimensions: cultural, financial, maturity, political, etc.<br />CREATE a plan<br />Press your strengths<br />Identify allies to compensate for weaknesses<br />Be aware of annual budgeting cycle and be first to the table at the right time<br />Target the influential<br />If you can afford it, BE PATIENT.<br />
    24. 24. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />24<br />Table of Contents<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Sell the Idea<br />Implement the Idea<br />Expand the Application of the Idea<br />Optimize the Idea<br />What&apos;s Next?<br />Q&A<br />
    25. 25. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />25<br />Q & A<br />
    26. 26. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />26<br />Thank You!<br />
    27. 27. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />27<br />Author’s Biography<br />Carl is a native of Cleveland. He has a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. After working for the Defense Finance Accounting Service’s Expert Systems team for six years, he embarked on a three year consulting gig with New Media (aka Brulant aka Rosetta). The .com bust landed him at National City Bank (now PNC) in 1999.<br />At NCC, Carl worked as an architect on NationalCity.com and Online Banking. After a brief run at systems engineering (infrastructure), he took a lead role in developing the enterprise SOA strategy. Most recently Carl led to a three year foray into architecture governance. The combination of SOA, governance and share service engineering at NCC led to over $60mm in reuse savings over the last three years. Carl recently accepted a position at PNC as the Director of Security Engineering.<br />
    28. 28. Northeast Ohio - International Association of Software Architects (NEO-IASA)<br />28<br />About NEO-IASA<br />NEO-IASA is the local chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA). It is the leading IT Architecture professional association serving Northeast Ohio, including: Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne counties.<br />NEO-IASA&apos;s objectives are:<br />To provide a forum for persons engaged in IT Architecture to share knowledge and discuss current challenges for mutual self-improvement;<br />To maintain in that forum a vendor and product agnostic environment that focuses on IT Architecture;<br />To implement the objectives and program of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) within the chapter area;<br />To explain and interpret the objectives and methods of IT Architecture to the general public, civic groups, academic institutions, government officials, and employees.<br />IASA is the preeminent knowledge-based association focused on the IT architecture profession through the advancement of best practices and education while delivering programs and services to develop highly qualified IT architects of all levels. IASA will rely on the following objectives in order to obtain our goals:<br />Education<br />Knowledge<br />Advocacy<br />Ethics<br />Advancing Architecture Professional Excellence<br />http://groups.google.com/group/neo-iasa http://sites.google.com/site/neoiasa<br />

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