Structure in Threes: Tools Development

Organizational Design Tools Need Completion

Continuing to build out Enterprise Analysis and Design tools this morning along with a workflow to integrate the Modern IT Portfolio Management methodology.  After finishing the Org Design Tool, the next steps will be to finish off the Portfolio Management Tool and then document the workflow for possible automation.

Strategy Analysis

Modern IT Portfolio Management

Digital Nervous System Architecture

It looks like I’m going to build out the original concepts I developed when discussing what and how Active Directory should be with Hans.  I had presented to Hans an idea that Active Directory (SMS Server) could accomplish its mission through usage of federation and abstraction into logical units (see below late 1996 presentation).  Added to that were the concepts I had been working on as a side research project during my employment at IBM the 80’s.  This later became a white paper “The body enterprise” where I through the network could become an enterprise’s digital nervous system.  Unfortunately, Hans and I could not get the funding to pursue going any further than simple IT product management.  However, I continued -though through small pieces of other projects- to research how to build a management and control system.  With my Modern IT Portfolio Management R&D at a foreseeable conclusion I’ll be able to build the CIO Workbench I had envisioned years ago.


The unfortunate aspect to this was both IBM and Microsoft had the opportunity to build this out a decade ago but failed to see the vision was achievable. I guess you can chalk it up to other missed opportunities that companies have for not reaching far enough in the future.  I remember hearing internal chatter by Microsoft management when I departed for DMR Consulting this was a dream decades away, though BillG must not have through so or his Ghostwriter wouldn’t have spent so much time interviewing me to included in his book.

IT Portfolio Management: Asset Classes and Portfolios

Multi-order Interconnections of Assets

Comments from yesterday’s post regarding the difference between IT Assets and Traditional Investment Assets I had a tendency to agree with in the past.  However, since the changes in law and the economy the independence between assets no longer exists as once was believed.  As the most recent financial meltdown the economy is still recovering from demonstrates.  This phenomena of interconnectedness pointed out in Albert-László Barabási’s book “Linked” points to the fact that everything is connected.  The issue becomes how these are connected and the depth of the effects of that connection.  This is the area of systems dynamics which I continue to study at the Center for Understanding Change.  My objective is understand the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. levels of consequence to the ever widening web of connection we live in and how to apply it to ITSM and Enterprise as a whole.

Applying these concepts to IT Portfolio Management the relationships between the traditional assets classes under management became first a hierarchy and second not much to my surprise like the taxonomy originally developed for the conceptual underpinning Has Witt and I discussed for Active Directory. This hierarchy points to ITSM (Services) as the bridge between Enterprise concerns and IT Functional concerns.  It is the IT Services which enable the enterprise capabilities which at the corporate level are the assets.

Accounting for temporal relationships

Below is the initial brainstorming of the hierarchy and its relationship to both enterprise and time.  The time dimension in most portfolio management methodologies is limited to the time value of money typically in the form of NPV.  However, not accounting for the effects of time on the various attributes under consideration for the enterprise is where I see the limits to using time in present portfolio management methodologies.  A White Paper, still under development, “The Optimum Path to an Uncertain Destination” is one approach I’ve found to address this situation and is included in the Modern IT Portfolio Management methodology I’ve been creating.

IT Asset Class Hierarchy

Translating Business to Enterprise Architecture: Methodology Activity #3

Once a capability has been defined adequately, mapping to the components that enable it are possible.  These components are part of the resource classes originally envisioned in the conceptual model for Active Directory:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Human
  • Intellectual Capital
  • Financial
  • Temporal

Within these class structures further specification is accomplished based upon performance requirements and constraints.   A suite of tools were envisioned to exploit the active directory conceptual model providing status, history and planning functions.

The CIO Workbench was envisioned as an application to act as an Enterprise Architecture Repository and Planning Tool using an Active Directory database that fulfilled both I.T. and Enterprise Configuration Management Data Base Functions.

As technology has evolved today several technology functions have been developed.  The raw CMDB capability System Center suite can provide, project server has matured enough to manage project portfolios, etc.  The SharePoint 2010 with BCS appears to be able to fulfill the integration layer that connects these top applications. 

What was not address in the model above was the ability for customers to order and track fulfillment of service requests.  However, the ITIL model previously described in this blog could integrate seamlessly in this model.

The component model above was used as a planning tool to assist in creating enterprise architectures.  It becomes difficult at times to keep track of not only components in an architecture, but the levels of abstractions used also (. e.g., a Reference Model that is used as guide for an industry architecture reference model that is used to create an architecture for a specific enterprise which is further used as a reference for developing roadmaps and designs.)  This MS Access DB proved invaluable during the past years as I worked through these issues.