I was keynoting at the DeutschePost SOA Days technical seminar held in Bonn, Germany last week, and while I was waiting to present I sat through a very informative presentation from a large telecoms company about its efforts with SOA.
However, one point that really caught my attention was the fact that the company has had some success with improving productivity through focusing on 90-day cycles. This extremely challenging timeframe is assisted greatly by the SOA approach used by the company, but a key element is that new projects start off life with a ‘hot-house’ activity.
The idea is to gather the core team of people involved in the project in one room, for however long is required, to spec out the project and select the implementation approach. This looks at the business and IT requirements and implications. What I love is that this ‘hot-house’ is carried out in a special room where there is only local networking available (no internet or email), and it even has mobile phone jammers to block calls. Results appear to have been extremely impressive. The hot-house sets the scene for a rapid development effort. Admittedly not every 90-day cycle completes the project – it can determine that another cycle is needed for additional research for example, but project delivery has definitely speeded up.
As for me, I just want one of those mobile phone jammers – I would love to take one on the train, and turn it on intermittently…..