Fail fast, move on

1-day estimation of a new demand’s complexity provides reliable cost assessment for BUs

I can give a pretty good cost and resource estimate on the new demands to business teams within a few hours. This means that we can go to market with the right offering, faster. Business units started to see my team as a key information source for prioritizing and planning their disruptive ideas.

Tamás Nacsák

chief enterprise architect, Magyar Telekom

Business success depends on selecting those ideas with the greatest positive impact and then implementing them quickly. This is exactly what enterprise architects, empowered with a live knowledge base, can help idea-makers with. Thus, EA has a direct influence on the company’s competitiveness.

During idea creation, it is not necessary to know the exact breath of a project – what business people really need to know is the magnitude of idea. Is it 10k, 500k or 2m? They can compare this estimate with the anticipated business benefits and decide whether the idea makes any sense or not.

From idea to rough specification

Disruptive ideas will never be too specific initially. Discussing and analyzing it for a while, will make it more concrete. A supportive enterprise architect can help to confine it within boundaries and provide business people new perspectives.

High-level plan and estimate

In response to the idea, enterprise architects can create a high-level solution design with the help of the EA knowledge base:
 

  1. Create a new proposed project in SAMU;
  2. Specify the modifications it should do on the architecture: mark components and dependencies it creates, modifies or removes;
  3. Verify the design with the idea owner;

This is the high-level design of the HR outsourcing initiative. At this stage, architects do not need to detail these modifications in depth – those can be added later and updated as the project progresses.

Upon marking a component to be modified, SAMU pulls in the existing dependencies of the item – this is done to help assess all the consequences of a particular change at an early stage.

Enterprise architects get an always up-to-date architecture graph to assess the impact of changes.

Business teams receive a fast yet trustworthy cost estimate for delivering the solution based on facts. Reduced risks, quicker go-to-market.

Drop it out or work it out

High-level solution designs based on the actual complexity provides more realistic cost – benefit assessments. They empower business teams to better prioritize the ideas to achieve a competitive edge.

Collaborating over a single design built from the components of your enterprise architecture will ensure a common understanding of the required changes.

We have customers, who include the high-level designs in the requirement documents for tenders. Like this, tenderers will have the same solid architecture requirement information in a standard structure, which increases clarity and results in better quality proposals and solutions.

Continuous governance

High-level solution designs place the solution into an end-to-end architecture context. This is important not just for the initial decision making, but also lead to better decisions going forward:

  • Emerging changes are evaluated quicker throughout the project – even more importantly in agile projects;
  • It provides a clear-cut knowledge base of architecture dependencies to operations people, who will need to ensure availability 24x7 after go-live;
  • Support in any internal or external audits, when you must prove compliance to data handling, business continuity or security;
  • For any future projects that may build on the delivered solution.

 
Therefore, plans are never static: maintained by the project lead architect, they live together with the initiative.

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