Many of the things that EA aims to do will not be readily
received by many people. This is because adopting EA is a paradigm shift. One
could say that if there were no resistance then either you are not doing your
job properly or the Enterprise is already mature enough in its use of EA. This
is because the paradigm shift involves changing the culture of the Enterprise
and therefore how people are motivated.
This is a (probably inexhaustive) list of problems that come
up time and time again. Problems that, if not tackled will mean failure:
People may not like EA exposing problems or mistakes because the
Enterprises culture punishes those that do.
People may not like EA breaking down silos and fiefdoms because
the Enterprise’s culture tends to motivate them financially and with promotions
to build them.
People may not like to think about the benefit to the whole
Enterprise because the Enterprise’s management measures them only on their
small part of it, incentivising people to improve their part, to the possible
detriment of the whole.
People are driven to hit this years numbers, this month’s
targets, todays share price. This drive is completely at odds with EA as EA
often means taking short term pain to achieve long term gain.
Truths, if inconvenient, tend to be hidden, especially if they
impact the points above. EA is built on exposing and accepting truth, even if
that is painful. Progress can never be achieved if truths are ignore, however
inconvenient they may be.
It is unfortunate that most of these pushbacks come from
Management, because it is management that we need to convince to employ a
(proper) EA, rather than the majority of “EA” work where the EA who spends his
time only in IT and makes sure he does not upset anyone. A “proper” EA spends
most of his days listening to people and speaking truth to power.
“There are no bad people, only bad contexts. (aka bad Culture)”
- Pragmatic EA
And if we want to change people’s behaviour we need to
concentrate on changing the context (Culture) rather than trying to change the
Who in your Enterprise will
What do you need to do to stop
them hating EA?