In my last blog we talked about getting Enterprise Architecture engaged as soon as possible in figuring out how to approach major programs or business transformations.
In these early stages business partners love to bring in their favorite consultants to help them figure stuff out. Their favorite consultant also loves this so much he/she will do it for free. For consultants they consider this the sales cycle. They know the big prize comes later in the game when it is time to implement the idea (right half of the diagram above).
So great, I got free ‘genius’ consultants working for me, why do I need EA’s help? I agree those consultant folks tend to be pretty smart but they do not understand the intricacies of how your business and especially your IT really works. Consultants also have an interest in getting into the game at a lower price point (“This isn’t going to be so hard. We’ve done this at many clients”) and they’ll get you later when they uncover those hidden gotcha’s (“We uncovered some complexities we were not informed of. That will be a change order of $$$”).
Your EA team knows your processes and systems (or knows who to talk to) inside and out. They know the imperfections that crept into your landscape over time that make things more complicated or unique than expected.
I have seen this over and over again that consultants miss major functional or non-functional (e.g. cybersecurity, availability, scalability, maintainability, …) requirements. That said I think consultants are great. I wouldn’t be one if I didn’t think we could add major value. Having consultants supplement and partner with your team on solutioning for a major transformation is a very good idea. Just don’t let the consultants do this without EA.