1st July 2020

Metric selection

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At the time of writing the UK is in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic and I’ve taken a keen interest; having becoming very interested in UK Politics following the IR35 legislation and Brexit. The presentation of the evidence in the daily updates got me thinking about my own work and how little conscious energy I invest in selecting the right metrics to ensure those around me really understand the points I’m making. As such, it’s an area I’m actively looking to improve upon in my own day-to-day contributions to my client’s workload.

Solutions Architecture can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people and has become a broad term to describe anything from Development Leads, Infrastructure Architects to SharePoint Developers But in my world as something of a generalist I find myself with a foot in both the technical and business camps on a very frequent basis.

I should say at this point that ‘tailoring your output’ for your audience is nothing new, and it’s something we all do naturally to a certain extent – but the consideration of the subset of components which make it up is what I’m talking about here. And metric selection is one of many.

My recent work establishing a Robotic Process Automation presence with a client has given me a good opportunity to enact this new way of thinking. Procurement teams are interested in how my designs impact the whole-life cost and want to reconcile that against the known requirements to ensure we’re not over-delivering.

Those within the Cloud and Infrastructure teams want to know about more technical outputs like Throughput, Backup Quantities, and Recovery Point objectives. And those more outcome based roles such as Product Owners and Chief Technology Officers just want to know when it’ll be done.

Developing segregation of these views within my own documentation to ensure that stakeholders get to see things in their own language and on their own terms has been important as has getting more involved within the project management space to ensure that meetings don’t become over-complicated by participants constantly seeking to re-frame the topic of the meeting to their own area. The smaller the meeting the better the decisions (terms and conditions apply).

And that’s where the value of Solutions Architecture is; adding simplicity to a noisy, complex problem.