I've organized all my bags, gassed up the car, and tunes are turned up loud. Roadmap is in the glove box marked up with planned stops along the way. I'm on my way home running down a dusty road, having not been back in a year or more. I can't take this very much longer, becoming stranded in sleet and rain. Just when I think I'm never going to make it home again, the morning sun rises and kisses the day.
Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning! My Journey is in concert, harmonic and full of energy. In case you didn't recognize the lyrics, this prose is from one of the most recognizable songs recorded by a top band of the latter half of the nineteenth century: Wheel in the Sky by Journey. My son and I saw them live for his birthday, along with two other famous bands, Foreigner and Night Ranger, courtesy of his oldest sister and her husband. A very happy birthday, indeed.
And the journey continues. Their first album (what it was called back when it was released) was in 1975 and their latest, Eclipse, is this year. Coincidently, their music journey ran parallel to my software development career. I was programming on HP and DEC mainframes back then. By 1978 when Wheel in the Sky came out on the Infinity album, I was developing games on my Apple. And, like Journey, I'm still at it.
The lyric reminds me of my journey. I've had my share of rain and storms to travel through. I was away for the better part of a year during the Gulf War, wondering when I'd ever get home. Even with that frame of reference, I've felt that way about the organizations I've worked in. It isn't uncommon for a talented group to stray from what they are really good at and fall off the S&P or NASDAQ map. It is when we organize, plan, and control our execution that we arrive back home to where we belong.
Strategic development is the first phase of a journey. The Architecture Body of Knowledge™ is the map. Each organization should use it effectively to plan their automation journey. An Enterprise Architecture contains multiple views of the landscape, similar to Google Maps with layers of roads, topography, satellite images, traffic, and sites. When the journey is long, a path is chosen, connecting where you are to a final destination, based upon factors like cost and time to value. Waypoints (a.k.a. releases) are planned along the path as rest stops. A good Enterprise Architecture Roadmap will model each waypoint, and carve views from model to describe maturity and capability delivered to the organization along the way.
Music can make the trip more enjoyable and seem faster. If you don't want to waste time getting lost, a good roadmap and a plan will get you there. But where is there? What is your destination? How do you decide where you want to go? That's part of strategic development as well. And unless the journey is your destination, your organization will want to discover its opportunities following a methodical approach, the ABoK™ Approach to governance. So pick up your map at Google eBookstore, iBooks on iTunes, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, or Smashwords. Use it to select your destination and plan the journey. Then turn up your Journey and enjoy the ride.