So we got chatting about thinking about IT delivery like a supply chain, and thinking about what the most inefficent parts of the current IT supply chain are. Now unlike a decent SOA approach the current supply chain is very very process oriented. Now the most common supply chain these days (and sure Agile people can have a shout about being better but lets just wait a minute eh?)
(Apologies for the huge gaps on the image but I've had to use PPT and its "Save As" is slide only not just selected (ala Open Office))
Now the key bit in this inefficient supply chain is the production of word documents (again Agile folks stop shouting at the back) but in large scale organisations there hasn't really been a choice (anyone seen Agile in a 30,000 employee organistion done top to bottom?) and this supply chain has been repeated over and over again.Now what should be the goal of the new supply chain for IT? Well taking a lesson from... IT.. the key here is going to be automate the wasteful human parts of the process, namely the human interaction steps that produce only intemediary information. This means our new process needs to be something like
So this means a few things, firstly we need a hell of a lot better tooling than the current approaches (and I include cue-cards and the post-it note mock-ups that people pass off as better than word), secondly that the people whose current job is just to act as an interface between the business and IT should be getting a little nervous, along with the people whose job it is to take architectures and requirements and create designs that are then handed to developers, and the final one is that the levels of skills of people needs to be raised a level. So while tools will automate out parts of the IT supply chain it needs a higher degree of skills than current exhibited by most people in these roles. No longer will architects have the comfort zone of designers who brush of the rough edges from their powerpoints, nor will system analysts be able to hide behind what the biz analysts create and hand-over. It means that there need to be tools that outline what the business wants (business SOA) and then people need the skills to enrich that with the right solution.
So in the future IT supply chain, and by that I mean the supply chain on the large scale not just for "agile" point projects. This is for packages, software development and the whole lifecycle.
So if you view your current IT delivery as a supply chain, where do you see your inefficencies?