Friday, December 19, 2008

Value for Money (Quality is Free)

The Service Architecture and Engineering methodology includes a discipline called SOA Adoption and Excellence.

Our idea of excellence is based on standard frameworks of total quality management, in particular the excellence criteria embedded in TQM competitions such as the Baldrige Award or the European Quality Award. In these frameworks, you don't score points for investing in quality for the sake of quality; you score points for having clear visibility and measurability of cause-and-effect: how is this capability or resource contributing to these positive outcomes. If you do it properly, TQM should produce an organization that is highly efficient and effective, because all the capabilities and resources of the enterprise are focused on achieving tangible results. In other words, we can think of these frameworks as value-for-money frameworks.

The slogan "Quality is Free" was invented by Philip Crosby, one of the gurus of the TQM, and is the (provocative) title of one of his books. Many people explain this by turning it around: lack of quality is expensive, because it leads to rework, wasted or underutilized assets, customer complaints, high staff turnover, and many other costs.

So the emphasis in our approach to SOA capability planning is to identify those capabilities that will have the greatest impact on positive outcomes, identify the key dependencies between capabilities, and focus the limited resources of the enterprise on just-in-time acquisition of the most critical capabilities. If this isn't value-for-money SOA, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Jordan Braunstein said...

I just blogged that I think “Big SOA is Dead; Little SOA is Thriving” at: . Ok, maybe Big SOA isn’t “dead”, but certainly struggling to convince companies to invest in BPM, BAM, ESB (Big SOA) in today’s economic climate is a tough, academic sell when they can go Little SOA with positive ROI. Organizations want rapid results– they want SOA Today and not 6-9 months down the line!