Halfway through, and this is shaping up to be the best EAC I have attended for a while.
I was umming and aahing about whether to attend yesterday’s seminar sessions, and couldn’t make up my mind which to join. In the end I made up my mind about the morning session while having a cup of coffee on the way, when I recognised one of the speakers, Lawrence Helm, as having given an excellent presentation a couple of years ago on NASA’s knowledge management problems. This time he and his colleague Robert Stauffer were talking about NASA’s adoption of Capability Modelling, and how they have put it to use supporting some very high level decisions about NASA’s future shape.
This was another stimulating session, and really benefitted from the extra space from making it a half-day session. Lawrence and Robert actually ran out of time, which was probably a testament to the depth of the material and the discussions it engendered.
The principle of relating capabilities to strategic objectives was not new to me, although the NASA examples certainly were. What did surprise me was the level of detail required for capability definitions in that environment. For example, the launch capabilities relate specifically to certain target longitudes and temperature ranges, and could not be moved to a location outside those ranges (for example Korou or Baikonur) without re-engineering the rocket platforms.
The afternoon session was also a bit random, as I got confused between Mike Rosen’s half-day seminar and his separate one hour talk for which I had the slides. Not a problem, the half day session on case study methods was very educational. The example, of how Wells Fargo created a federated model to integrate their various systems under a common customer model was interesting, and plays nicely into my EAI talk tomorrow. Like a good sermon, I didn’t learn much new, but I felt thoroughly validated that Wells Fargo did what I would have recommended, and succeeded with it. We had a very robust discussion on the importance of stable service interfaces, so hopefully that will drum up some support for my talk.
You get a very good class of attendee at these sessions. Alec Sharp joined the NASA session, and John Zachman joined the afternoon session, although he didn’t participate much.
Thursday’s highlights have probably been the two keynotes: this morning on how different companies have developed different strategies to come through and out of the recession, and this afternoon on “how to think like a CEO” and get your messages across to senior managers. However, there was also an excellent talk this morning by David Tollow on how EA feeds management and planning of long term outsourcing deals, from the supplier’s viewpoint. Very relevant to many of us in the current day and age.
Just to make things interesting, Sally has asked me to swap slots with someone else tomorrow, so my talk which was carefully trimmed to the constraints of the last slot on Friday will now be at 10 am. This may or may not be a good thing.
Wish me luck!
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