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Fatal Flaw*

In my recent blogs I discussed why Enterprise Architects (EAs) should always present options and not just the final recommendation. I also warn about not going haywire with the number of options. I’ve seen architects still digging deeper on a given option even if it’ll be dead on arrival when presented. Once you’ve found the Fatal Flaw, stop.


By Fatal Flaw I mean that you’ve stumbled on a con for the solution option that is absolutely unacceptable. Here are some examples:

  • The SaaS solution you are evaluating has unacceptable security gaps

  • The proposed solution is 10x the digestible budget

  • The proposed software has a capability gap that is a must have (and enhancing it is cost prohibitive)


So let’s take one of yesterday’s blog examples. The business “pre-selected” a software vendor for a given business capability they would like to add and now they call IT. If you find a fatal flaw for in this vender’s solution then stop any other analysis of how you would add their solution into your environment. I’ve seen teams continue to evaluate vendors in detail although they are totally cost prohibitive. Highlight that they are cost prohibitive or whatever the Fatal Flaw is and call it a day. All the business and IT have to agree on is the Fatal Flaw and game over for that option. No need to talk about anything else.


This seems like a trivial tip but you’d be surprised how many architects will keep analyzing although they already found one huge con that will eliminate a given option.



* I used to actually call this the Kill Shot vs. Fatal Flaw. With yesterday’s school shooting I could not bring myself to using that term. My condolences and prayers for all those families and friends effected by the tragedy.


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