The Venn of IT Solution Success

Changing technology in an enterprise requires that you have the following “must have” skills in your people:

  1. Leadership & organization
  2. Business acumen
  3. Technical chops

Normally, labor in a project is divided up according to these specialties – i.e. developers have the technical chops, business analysts have the business chops, project managers organize themselves and everyone else. Throw them all into a pot, stir vigorously and…presto! A successful project.

Hardly.

At the heart of every successful project is usually a person or two who seems to posses key slices of at least two of these skill-sets. It could be:

  • A project manager who has deep experience in the business domain in which the project is executing, and is able to do double-duty as requirements facilitator.
  • A business analyst who understands and appreciates the architectural implications of the solution being implemented, and even knows the enterprise’s technology strategy – a true Business Archtiect.
  • An IT Architect who, in addition to having his software patterns down pat, is also a strong leader able to bring warring stakeholders to consensus.

We at Systems Flow long ago recognized the special role these “utility players” have in successful projects.

Over the years we’ve evolved this into a “sacred triangle” of skills that all our consultants are measured against, both during recruiting and in our employee development program:

Even though each individual consultant is usually engaged with a client for one area primarily, we recruit and cross-train all our consultants in each area and consider them core for success. We even have detailed process, guidelines and samples/templates for things as sublime as Logical Design Artifacts, and some things as mundane as meeting recaps.

Contact us to learn more about our process – whether you’re looking for help, or looking to join our team!

Ben Sommer was a Principal Consultant with Systems Flow, Inc. He consultsed in enterprise & solution architecture for large clients. He also led training programs for Systems Flow. His career panned network, systems, and open source software engineering with a focus on identity management. Ben is a trained musician and composer.

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