Decision Rights: The ‘What The Hell’ Model

I used to think it was a bad idea for the organisation to allow programs or projects to drive go-to-market RFP tenders to acquire high-cost strategic enterprise technology platform infrastructure. Reason being programs / projects often define limited, project-specific ‘requirements’ on the selection process, where there is inevitably a broader — enterprise-wide — range of business and technology requirements that should inform the acquisition.

Projects often fail to consider the comparative assessments independent market analyst firms publish. Gartner. Forrester. (Recognising that the word ‘independent’ may not always be entirely accurate.)

But now I think — what the hell.

These days, major programs tend to be driven by the business — not by IT. And that is a good thing indeed. In the initial needs analysis phase, before the RFP is issued, the program typically retains the services of external consultants with domain-specific platform smarts. Or they hire a very competent project architect with domain-specific platform smarts.

Back in the stone age, as an enterprise architect, I was always isolated from ‘the business’ anyway. Because ‘enterprise architecture’ was perceived to be an IT thing. It still is, sadly. So enterprise architects are not always the best people to shape an RFP.

There is never a perfect solution to difficult challenges. It’s messy. But things seem to be getting better.