Architunity® LLC

Architunity® LLC
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Planning for the Journey

There are three steps in preparing for any trip. No, having a destination in mind isn't among them. But knowing how to get there (i.e., vehicle or mode of transportation) is the first. Setting an initial course is the second. The final step is motivating the start and doing it. Today, we begin with steps 1 and 2.

I just returned from many trips. I was in San Diego and Disneyland for the 2010 Independence Day celebration. Then my family traveled to West Maui. After two and a half weeks of relaxing and having fun, I was back on the road consulting in Boston, visiting friends in New York City, and now plan to spend a long weekend in New England with my beautiful wife. I even spent a day with my 13 year-old son at Six Flags riding roller coasters. Before each of these vacations and business trips, I booked airplane seats, arranged for rental cars, and set up lodging with family members or hotels. True, I knew where I was going each time. At least, close enough to know how I would get there and where I would hang out for a while. San Diego was a way-point on the way to Maui. I stopped in New York on the way to Boston.

Some will plan every activity of their vacation and never experience the joy of spontaneity. There is risk in arranging too much or too well. Life happens when you plan something else. So when I got to the W Hotel in midtown Manhattan, I didn't know I would end up at the Empire State Building. After a rain shower passed, there I was. Fortunately, I did not have to walk up 102 flights of stairs to the top; there are several elevators.

Some decisions are needed to go places, like mode of travel, but don't need to be made until you're ready to start. Other decisions are obvious to the most casual (or lazy) of observers. Taking the elevator to the top of a tall building was a no-brainer, as was the decision to first go up and later come back down. Planning how to travel and what general direction to go isn't really that hard are they? Take the destination out of the decision-making mix makes planning for the journey a cinch.

As we plan to build an Enterprise Architecture for an organization, we can take out the end result. After all, the journey will take us there. We know the general direction from industry trends. Heading toward services and clouds should get us close enough to adjust later. And we cannot fly, drive, or swim. But we can journey with people experienced in the routes. On a safari, I certainly hire a guide, less I become the dinner of some exotic animal.

This may be an uncomfortable journey, so bring some good walking shoes and your best colleagues. Next blog, I'll discuss the motivation to leave the comforts of home and hit the road. Until then, relax on my deck with a glass of red and enjoy the sunset. We'll be heading toward sunrise soon enough.

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