Productivity in SOA Development team

I have frequently noticed that SOA development team is always critical path in all projects. Is there a problem of capacity, skills, life cycle, design or maturity? If you have your development team on the critical path for everything, that’s a PROCESS choice and a POLICY choice. If you don’t think that choice is working for you, you need to examine alternatives.  SOA, if implemented in a couple different ways, actually eliminates the need for bottle-necked development. SOA will not give you any answer about people management. Get inspiration from Agile methodology (Alister Cockburn for instance) in order to drive the output value from a team.

If you are team lead who experiencing the same kind of atmosphere … 

#1 SOA strategy

In our post-cold-war world, the only who decides is still MONEY. Technology not yet.
– SOA is not an intellectual thing.
– SOA MUST make your enterprise more competitive on the market.
– SOA must maximize the ROI of your enterprise.
– At your level, SOA must help for productivity (after some impediments removal)

Reusing services means factoring team skills and factoring costs spend on research/education related to some technology within the organization.

#2 Ownership

Are you really not owner of the team? As an architect, you have to give the good advises to the team in order they are more productive. For sure, you’re challenged / monitored by your management on those aspects.

If the architect of your house makes unreadable plans for the brickies and carpenters, this will result in a disaster. Even if the architect of your house followed an SOA initiative.

The IT architect is assimilated with team / people management.
What is the added value of giving advises if your team is not hearing/following you ?

#3 Organization

Your problem is not technical. This is an organizational issue.

Indeed you have to take on you those problem first : proper life cycle, artifact definition.
This is your job. But nothing to do with SOA.
When those are clear / make a plan, and discuss with the team.
And then, for those issues related to ownership confusion / Team Leading, you have to prepare to expose the situation to your management. Be very careful on your communication; choose your words, expose the facts / not problems / otherwise you’ll be designated to be the source of problem (!). Do not tell to the management about SOA or anything technical. Just tell the facts. And then, if (and only if) you are asked for, propose different solutions.