Hello and welcome to a new monthly IASA blog – Architects Should.

What a great word, should. It implies of course a change in our behavior, a consideration of another way to do the things we are currently doing. It’s why this is so much fun, to write the down the concept of architect’s should. What as a universal or even specific truth should architects be doing or doing differently.

I’ve been thinking about that theme for the past few days. The first thing I’ve noticed is that many architects start conversations from the technical perspective only. In fact many architects I know only value a technical conversation. To them the reality is they have to deal with business requirements and business professionals. We even have a bad name for them, end users. They are one end of our technology pipeline. So we have our technical conversations about the value proposition of measuring iOps down to the fourth decimal place (0.0321) and conversations about which programming language always produces the best results. If we start with a technology conversation we will drift into views, viewpoints and use cases very quickly. Business people wander away from the “IT people” because we only have that conversation. Stopping the conversation with your CEO to explain the what and why of a specific use case isn’t going to do either of you any good, in the end. Conversations are connections between people, if you only have one conversation then you limit who you can talk to.

Instead let us welcome the brave new world of business conversations. Instead of the iOps required for a solution, let’s start with the business problem we are actually solving. Use cases can always be added later. Let’s have a holistic view not only of what is there but of what can be done. Let’s have conversations around using IT services to speed the time of new product development. If you increase an organizations sales, and decrease the cost of producing the items sold you in the end increase profitability. Let’s have those conversations with the business.

Let’s have the business conversation with our co-workers. Let’s understand not only the value of IT for our business, but how we can improve that and in the end make things better. In fact, put down whatever device you are reading this on and walk over to the nearest business type you know. Start a conversation and see if you can sustain it without talking about technology. Try to do that every day for a week.

What Architects Should: Rule 1 have more business conversations.

Scott Andersen
IASA Fellow