Further downstream, be sure to align financial incentives with governance objectives: If people are rewarded for doing things that are counter to building an effective SOA process in your organization, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve begun. Cultivating successful SOA projects may require that you change how money gets allocated to projects. Biske recommends a “funding funnel” that identifies the cost of initial projects, plus or minus 50 percent. “At each iteration or major milestone in the development process, do a review,” he says.
In other words, at each stage, the collar on the project cost can be tightened until the true cost is dialed in. Biske adds, “project scorecards provide the information for making the right decisions.” With sufficient projects in the overall portfolio, some will come in high and some low, providing good budget control and flexibility at the same time.
One step at a time
Governance isn’t something you build and then use; it’s a constantly evolving entity that must have the methods of its own evolution built in. As such, you shouldn’t feel pressure to get it all done. In fact, diversity of implementation should be expected, according to Anil John of Johns Hopkins. “There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to governance.” Be proactive at putting a few good policies and processes in place and then listen to feedback.
Remember that the point of governance is to encourage proper behavior. Monitor how your SOA efforts are working — or not. John adds, “The desirable behaviors that need to be encouraged in an SOA implementation may conflict with the existing mechanisms in place as part of IT governance. The mechanisms that are in place for the management of IT need to be extended and modified to account for SOA.” When you find resistance to the SOA goals you’ve set, modify the process. Governance that monitors its effects and evolves is the only kind that will ultimately succeed.