Avoiding a Leaky Scope Bucket

July 1, 2014

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
– children’s song, Bergliederbüchlein (c 1700)

In my prior article, I introduced the concept of a scope bucket to explain the concept of project scope to your stakeholders.  In this article, I continue the theme with some tips for managing and delivering the scope in your project scope bucket.

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A Bucket of Scope

May 13, 2014

An architect relies on a clear understanding of scope.  In prior articles we have discussed the business context diagram, a great tool for establishing solution scope.  We also provided a technique for setting expectations regarding the scope of architecture activities.  In this article, I intend to expand on the importance of understanding (or establishing, if you are in a project lead role) the scope of a project.

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Identify Indirect Stakeholders with System Context Diagrams

April 16, 2014

A Systems Flow consultant has skills that tend to fall in the triangle of technical, business and organizational excellence. One common and repetitive case of project dysfunction where this overlap brings real benefits is that of the “Operational Business Stakeholders Missing from Business Requirements.” Here’s how it usually goes:

  1. Architect is engaged to design project’s solution architecture (using the Investigative Architecture™ method)
  2. He/she is provided business requirements to review and comment on, to ensure they are fit for high-level design
  3. The requirements (hopefully) clearly state the end-user and product/service-centric objectives
  4. But how the end-users and the new/enhanced product or service will be supported operationally is completely missing
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The Art of Accepting Feedback

January 24, 2013

As practicing solution and enterprise architects we regularly present our work to our stakeholders for feedback. Those stakeholders range from mentors to peers to project teams to executive sponsors. In any and all of those situations, it is important to be able to accept feedback. Read more



Pre-Requirement Estimation for IT Projects

September 24, 2012

Objectives and requirements – they are what makes the project world go ’round. Changing a business’ operations for the better requires one to decide what are the objectives of the change, and what are the requirements a change must meet to satisfy the objective.

Implementing the change usually starts with someone needing to know what the change is going to cost!

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Value-driven Status

July 4, 2012

If you work in a professional environment, you inevitably have to communicate the status of your work to your manager. If you are in the professional services business, then you have an even tougher “manager” – your client.

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The Solution Architect’s Path to Success

April 11, 2012

Welcome to today’s blog. Sit back and relax. Close your eyes. Take some deep relaxing breaths. Envision a Utopian architecture project delivery:

  • Scope is clear and agreed upon,
  • Requirements are carefully crafted,
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When “Good Enough” isn’t Good Enough

October 11, 2011

So what is this picture? The unhelpful answer is that it is a photo of a sign with a burlap sack on it. I’d like to say that my community thought it would be a cute Halloween decoration, but I cannot. The truth: it is great example of the “good enough” anti-pattern. Read more



How to Flub Your Design Review

September 30, 2011

We would like to share some common approaches that consistently lead to failed design review meetings. They are somewhat embellished for effect, but, sadly, are not all that far removed from real world experiences. If you are interested in an ineffective design review, please be sure to: Read more



Issue Resolution: Understanding the Problem

August 22, 2011

For a Solution Architect, creating the blueprint for a quality product is often only half the job: After all, the greatest design in the world isn’t worth much unless it is accurately implemented. Read more



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