Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Holistic SOA

Sometime back I was made part of a SOA CoE (Center of Excellence) and we were tasked to take the SOA program for the organization forward. I had recently read the book EA as Strategy and Leveraging the new Infrastructure and I was trying to understand how these concepts play in SOA. I ran into this Blog which made an excellent point how in certain organizations certain initiatives are successful but in some they mean different things.
I started to think about how can I frame this effectively so that it doesn't give a narrow meaning to the program but has widespread implications to the organization. Then almost by accident I ran into Balanced Score Card(BSC). The book by Kaplan and Norton gives a great introduction. The framework nicely framed up the various tenets in the enterprise and how they play into satisfying the ultimate common goal for commerical organizations i.e. "Show me the money". Organizations use BSC to prioritize and align the various initiatives in the organization to the common goal.

Balanced Score Card

This led me to think, I were to think of the CoE as a business then it would have similar characteristics, granted it would be business agnostic mostly but it would effectively help me in understanding what value can I drive out of SOA. It led me to the construction of my first BSC for SOA given below
SOA Balanced Score Card

In the days to come I am planning to expand out these perspectives into initiatives that can happen in the organization. What are your thoughts on this ? Does such a framework exist ? Are there things I am missing from this scorecard that needs to be included ? Shoot back


  1. Nice! It helps understand the SOA big picture.

    Putting products and concepts on a balanced score card seems like a cool idea. I wonder if it is a tool of the trade which is common.

    What does 'core group skills' mean with reference to the SOA BSC?

  2. Nice view points.. I like the way - basically u r trying to fit in soa into corp strategy
    with the use of bsc. I question that I have is: How do u monitor growth in such scenario? "Growth" in the sense, how do you look at the results of "adding value"!

  3. NK

    BSC breaks down re-skilling into 2 kinds.
    a. Mass Re-skilling - Re-skilling everyone. Example of this is when you are in a manufacturing shop and you are moving from say semi-automated machines to fully automated machines, you need to re-skill everyone in the company
    b. Core group Re-skilling - This is re-skilling only a subset of people. As an example when you move into SOA space there is a key set of people (core group) who are responsible for managing the lifecycle of the service. This re-skilling is specific to this core group

    Let me know if that explains it

  4. CheapGarageSales

    The growth eventually is monitored by the way of your lag indicators in the specific case of SOA it is the Financial Perspective. The value is always intangible. The Balanced Service Score Card book by Rajesh Tyagi explains it in a much better fashion.

    Here is an example Better Integration leads to Faster Service leads to quicker customer delivery leads to customer satisfaction leads to customer retention leads to revenue. So the intangible value of being able to build the service quicker leads to tangible moolah. In essence if I was getting X dollars revenue and because of doing a new activity I am getting X+deltaX dollars revenue (and deltaX is positive) I could say that its contributing to growth. I have also given a quick view of what lead and lag indicators are in the Financial Perspective post.

    This is expressed in generation 3 Balanced Score Card or Strategy Maps. I will be starting to create some of those based on my experiences once I am done with expanding all the 4 perspectives into initiatives

    Let me know if that explains it

  5. Excellent stuff!
    Look forward to reading more of this series~