Skip links

Politics, ugh

Right Triangle focuses on information architecture.  Generally think our vast experience is an asset for our clients, but occasionally, we get stuck in toxic organizational politics.  We have a tremendous, experienced, one of our best collections of data and analytic architects we’ve ever assembled.  Yet, we have a client that literally battles us on every attribute definition.  I understand the need for making the details right, but their problems are not detail problems.  The problems are truly basic architectural, modern uses of data in 2016.  We will have a conversation with business users about the need for the required inclusion of data in an analytic solution and will have to fend off the religious preferences of the IT staff about how to build it in the same meeting.  The reality of it is, our team that has been building data integration, warehouses, lakes, BI, predictive solutions for almost 2 decades is getting told that everything must be in a star schema is getting old.  It gets very old when this directive comes from folks with significantly less experience is frustrating.

So I’m in a spot.  I have business users who want results.  I have an IT staff fixated on a dogmatic solution, which they truly don’t understand, and my team that wants to pragmatically give the business what it needs.  What the heck am I to do?  Do I throw the IT folks under the bus?  Do I deliver what IT wants but what my team knows is  subpar?

This is the world of mid-size companies.  Companies that have grown enough on the business side that they have outpaced their nascent IT capabilities.  Right Triangle is targeting mid-size companies for this very reason.  We can truly help them go from small companies to high end analytic driven juggernauts.  They just need to let us.

So what’s the problem?  It’s not a technical or business constraint.  We’re always able to find expert solutions there.  Again we are expert data and analytic architects.  The problems are always political and these politics are always more visceral and personal than in large companies.  Large companies always have political battles but they are typically non-personal business advancement activities.  In mid size companies their is typically a massive personal investment, sometimes financial but always personal.  This is something unexpected for us.  We have a tremendous success record and we felt that gravitas would allow us to move into the SMB world without barriers or limitations.

So I’m having to deal with organizational politics where architecture alone will no longer suffice.  I have to say it is an unwelcome burden.  Yet, in reality, it is a necessary step.  To truly get where we collectively need to be, we need everyone board.  I’m not saying that I have figured this out completely, far from it.  But I am saying that brilliant architecture, cost effective, value add alone is no longer the trump card.  Our architecture approach has always been pragmatic.  Now we must also be politically pragmatic so that we can deliver the success we are accustomed to is achievable.

Organizational politics is not our traditional core expertise.  It is data and information architectures.  However, increasingly organizational effectiveness (note i did not say politics) is becoming intertwined with information at the SMB level.  We are positioned very well now to resolve institutional challenges and organizational quandaries.  Information is our business.  We must deliver the Right Information to the R Right Consumer at the Right Time.