Making decisions in a complex enterprise is rarely easy. The perfect decision is usually elusive and often nonexistent. Executives I talk to often rely on a combination of intuition and experience and hope for the best. But most say that what they really want is for decision making to be more precise and deterministic.
So what really happens when making a decision? A common approach begins with those championing a solution reducing the scope of analysis and eliminating variables to simplify the decision. Those concerned about the bigger picture do the opposite, exploring every what-if scenario. Those forces drive the internal debate and frequently lengthen it. In the end, a decision must be made. As leaders, we do the best we can with what we have, and we decide.
While reaching a decision is good, reaching an under-informed one usually isn’t. How can we improve decision-making quality and consistency and take time out of the process? How can we avoid poor decisions with unintended consequences? Enter portfolio management. Having information at our fingertips about our portfolios and how elements of those portfolios impact each other is essential. Once that information is organized into meaningful portfolio views, it informs all future decisions.
You will also notice that A&G is set to a new format, with more articles, a link to the A&G blog and online community, and an enhanced calendar for events and podcasts. Our highlighted event this issue is the “Enterprise Transformation & Integration: Beyond IT/Business Alignment” conference at Penn State University this winter.
Our goal is to make A&G an invaluable and enlightening resource that will help all of us become the best enterprise architects we can be. We hope this issue takes us further down that path.