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Management Strategies For SOA

by Dilip Krishnan on Oct 06, 2009 |

Mike Kavis wrote an article for the SOA institute, in which he characterizes the success of  any SOA implementation into four factors people, process, technology, and business. He believes that a good management strategy is to create and communicate a roadmap that plots out key deliverables in each of these areas.

His observations are based on the characteristics of the winners of the SOA consortium contest for successful SOA implementations. 

1. Strong executive level commitment
2. Educate the business of the value of SOA
3. Establish a Center of Excellence
4. Well defined business services
5. Completeness of services
6. Sound quality assurance
7. ROI realized over time
8. Deliver substantial value

Mike examines the four factors and how they can affect the success of an SOA initiative in detail.

People

Mike emphasizes an organizational readiness assessment and outlines examples of key questions organizations must ask themselves to determine an effective communication and rollout strategy for the SOA roadmap. 

What this boils down to is creating a organizational change management plan with a communication strategy being the most critical component. Nothing derails an SOA implementation more than communication breakdowns and resistance to change.

Process

In his opinion as the SOA initiative gets underway, the need for an effective governance strategy increases in order to manage the various processes and the services that are being developed.

In most cases, existing processes need to be adjusted to support an SOA initiative. It is critical to measure key metrics to ensure that the system is performing and meeting SLAs, the business is getting value from the services that have been built and deployed, and that design goals, such as reuse, speed to market, and cost reduction are being achieved.

Technology

According to Mike, there are a myriad technical attributes that make up an SOA implementation that cover various aspects such as platform, tools, security etc. His advice is to have a plan for each layer in the technology stack and a master plan to govern these solutions.

Many SOA implementations require technology expertise in several layers of the architecture: business processes, business rules, data services, security, etc. Not only does this require a wide range of skill-sets from many different resources, but it may also include a wide variety of tools that need to be implemented.

Business

Last but not the least, Mike says the reason for the SOA implementation should be in support of key business goals.

Setting and managing expectations and explaining the value of the investment are key factors for a successful SOA implementation. The business should be engaged throughout the life-cycle of each implementation with the overall roadmap.

He concludes saying that at the end of the day an SOA is only successful if it can justify itself by providing business value.

Managing a SOA implementation requires a strategy that covers people, process, technology, and business deliverables. It is highly recommended that the management strategy is based on a well defined roadmap that lays out the SOA implementation's goals and deliverables over the course of the some defined period of time.

Be sure to check out the original article and feedback can be provided at his personal blog.

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