Home > EA > 3.Lesson Learned: There’s No “The Company”

3.Lesson Learned: There’s No “The Company”

This one is still in the space of EA customers (although I thought there’s not much more to say:). I had a déjà vu recently – discussion about EA being primarily for “the company”. Please, should you be the one that still thinks that what you are doing is for the good of “the company” and that “the company” cannot see your value, wake up or you are history.

There’s really no such thing. “The company” cannot be your customer and you cannot deliver value to “the company”. You do need to find a human customer – an individual – and address his needs and find a vocabulary that resonates with his mindset. If you believe in a “higher good”, you need to find a stakeholder for whom it is his goal. A challenge here is to distinguish wishes from needs. Many stakeholders can wish the same you do, but won’t be ready to give their hand in. All this might sound too obvious and I would not even mention it if I didn’t experience a lot of frustration around exactly these lines.

“The Company” can be used also in a different context – as an excuse. “The company is not ready for …”, “The company is not interested in…” In that case try to gently uncover who is supposed to be represented by “the company” so you can address individuals, not an abstract construct.

Categories: EA
  1. September 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Kris Meukens@Twitter:
    “disagree, there is not single stakeholder that will ever be perfectly satisfied in an enterprise

    it is the emergent complex social system that is to be satisfied

    “company” could be seen as that emerging whole

    But if “company” is then the “organisation” or the “enterprise” is the question. I favor the latter.

    strategy is the balancing act of trading-off with respect to distinct desires of individual stakeholders”

    A little bit of clarification here. I do not question that EA creates value. All in all, we do strive to help the company to be more effective. The whole sense of an enterprise is to deliver value, the purpose of everybody in the company should be to deliver certain value.

    First of all, I do not claim there’s exactly one “customer” to satisfy in the company. In fact, you can deliver different sorts of values to different stakeholders – e.g. consultancy to projects on how to interpret guiding principles and architect solutions so that they follow a route to a target architecture on one hand, and report identified synergy opportunities to a CFO on the other hand.

    Second of all, the crux of this very pragmatic hint is to focus on concrete individuals and identify a concrete need to satisfy. Not all that different to what business is generally about. If business were run as most of the EA functions I’ve seen so far, they would be pretty soon out of business:) What I disagree with though is that one can actually satisfy “the emergent complex social system”… but perhaps I understand it differently than you do.

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