Thursday Apr 05, 2012

ArchBeat Link-o-Rama for 2012-04-05

Thought for the Day

"The best meetings get real work done. When your people learn that your meetings actually accomplish something, they will stop making excuses to be elsewhere."

Larry Constantine

Wednesday Apr 04, 2012

Architects, Leadership, and Influence

Technical expertise is a given for architects. In addition to solid development experience, extensive knowledge of technical trends, tools, standards, and methodolgies (not to mention business accumen) provides the foundation for the decisions the architect must make in the effort to get all the pieces to work together. But even superior technical chops can't overcome a lack of leadership.

Leadership is about influence: the ability to effectively communicate — to sell your ideas and defend your decisions in a manner that affects the decisions of the people around you. Leadership and influence are especially important in situations in which the architect may not have the authority to simply tell people what to do. And even when the architect has that kind of authority, influential leadership can mean the difference between gaining real buy-in and support from colleagues and stakeholders, and settling for their grudging acceptance (or worse). Guess which outcome is likely to produce the best results.

In a previous post I presented some examples of the kind of criticism that is leveled at architects, a great deal of which can be attributed to a lack of leadership and influence on the part of the targets of that criticism. So it was serendipitous that I recently ran across a post on the Harvard Business Review blog written by Chris Musselwhite and Tammie Plouffe.

That post, When Your Influence Is Ineffective, includes this:

[I]nfluence becomes ineffective when individuals become so focused on the desired outcome that they fail to fully consider the situation. While the influencer may still gain the short-term desired outcome, he or she can do long-term damage to personal effectiveness and the organization, as it creates an atmosphere of distrust where people stop listening, and the potential for innovation or progress is diminished.

The need to "see the big picture" is a grossly reductive assesement of the architect's responsibilities — but that doesn't mean it's not true. That big picture perspective must encompass both the technological elements of the architecture and the elements responsible for implementing those technologies in compliance with the prescribed architecture. Technologies may be tempermental, but they don't have personalities or egos, and they are unlikely to carry a grudge — not yet, anyway (Hello, Skynet!).  Effective leadership and the ability to influence people can help to ensure that all the pieces fit and that they work together, today and tomorrow.

ArchBeat Link-o-Rama for 2012-04-04

Thought for the Day

"Simple things should be simple and complex things should be possible."

Alan Kay

Tuesday Apr 03, 2012

ArchBeat Link-o-Rama for 2012-04-03

Monday Apr 02, 2012

ArchBeat Top 20 for March 25-31, 2012

The top 20 most-clicked links as shared via my social networks for the week of March 25-31, 2012.

  1. Oracle Cloud Conference: dates and locations worldwide
  2. The One Skill All Leaders Should Work On | Scott Edinger
  3. BPM in Retail Industry | Sanjeev Sharma
  4. Oracle VM: What if you have just 1 HDD system | @yvelikanov
  5. Solution for installing the ADF Runtimes onto a standalone WLS 10.3.6 | @chriscmuir
  6. Beware the 'Facebook Effect' when service-orienting information technology | @JoeMcKendrick
  7. Using Oracle VM with Amazon EC2 | @pythianfielding
  8. Oracle BPM: Adding an attachment during the Human Task Initialization | Manh-Kiet Yap
  9. When Your Influence Is Ineffective | Chris Musselwhite and Tammie Plouffe
  10. Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12.1.1 update on OTN 
  11. A surefire recipe for cloud failure | @DavidLinthicum 
  12. IT workers bore brunt of offshoring over past decade: analysis | @JoeMcKendrick
  13. Private cloud-public cloud schism is a meaningless distraction | @DavidLinthicum
  14. Oracle Systems and Solutions at OpenWorld Tokyo 2012
  15. Dissing Architects, or "What's wrong with the coffee?" | Bob Rhubart
  16. Validating an Oracle IDM Environment (including a Fusion Apps build out) | @FusionSecExpert
  17. Cookbook: SES and UCM setup | George Maggessy
  18. Red Samurai Tool Announcement - MDS Cleaner V2.0 | @AndrejusB
  19. OSB/OSR/OER in One Domain - QName violates loader constraints | John Graves
  20. Spring to Java EE Migration, Part 3 | @ensode

Thought for the Day

"Inspire action amongst your comrades by being a model to avoid."

Leon Bambrick




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