Many companies basically have little or no budget allocated for infrastructure enhancements for the common corporate good. Instead, everything is lumped into the budgets of various projects. Usually, no one project can absorb the entire cost to establish a new infrastructure across the enterprise. And... the individual project managers feel it is to their advantage both NOT to rely on someone else’s project for infrastructure critical to their project success and NOT to promise to help out someone else’s project infrastructure.
Nobody wants to be dependent on someone else successfully executing their project to be successful on their own. At least if they don’t have to. Project managers call that a dependency. Nobody wants to spend “extra” money on infrastructure out of their pot of money, even if that would be being a good corporate citizen.
Project-based funding models tend to focus most attention on the short-term requirements of the business. If it is on a screen presented to a user, it is important. If it affects the response time when going through user acceptance testing, it ranks high. If it provides extra flexibility that nobody realizes a need for yet, it rates pretty low in priority.
As each project manager optimizes their individual projects and short-term agendas, they sub-optimize the entire corporation.
The result for us poor I/T Architects? We would like to apply our intellect to enterprise-wide projects with a big impact across many high-visibility projects, this opportunity is all too often denied us by the project-based funding model. We are deprived of the chance to really play the role of an Enterprise Architect. We see that there is a better way or a better approach but it is unattainable.
Our only recourse I fear is that we as I/T Architects simply have to get better at selling the benefits of shared infrastructure, shared services, and Enterprise Architecture in general to the business types who basically don’t care what happens “under the covers.” After all (and perhaps rightly so) they usually control the budgets. We have to stop looking at this as crossing over to the dark side... the dark side populated by purveyors of marketing “fluff." It is something we have to master to have the funding for those “big impact” projects we believe in.
Copyright © 2005 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved
The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.