Having a conversation, even for one minute of something that isn't the dog and pony show is like methadone. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel but wonder if you are strong enough to take the first step. The journey is long and as you progress, you realize that others around you are caught in the same trap and also are struggling.It pretty much sums up my feelings about the big IT Architecture team meeting we had out in Scottsdale last week. It was great to spend time with a group of colleagues who were (mostly) committed to looking at the strategic view of the company. A nice change from the day-to-day tactical demands of the enterprise.
And it was really nice to meet all the people I only knew as a voice on the other end of the phone. Of course I got to see the core EA team members: Andy, Mike, and Jim along with Rodney, our newest EA member from Concentra who I met for the first time. Also got to meet the other dozen or so IT Architecture team members which was particularly nice since I rarely talk to any of them outside of the biweekly conference call. Getting to sit down with them and talk casually about their work was extremely valuable to me.
I also finally got to meet Stan, the SVP I've reported to for almost a year but never met. He came with Maria, our (newish) CIO, to deliver a presentation on approved projects for 2008 and along with their vision for architecture. I about cried when Maria talked about how Enterprise Architecture was near and dear to her heart and how important she felt our efforts were. It's one thing for our team to talk about it but having the CIO in charge of several thousand IT professionals come out and say how it important it is made the 4500 miles and many, many hours of travel time worth it.