September 20, 2021

Leveraging a Partner for EDA Success

By reading the past ten chapters in this series, you learned a great deal about Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) and its place in the new, interoperable, machine-to-machine (M2M), Internet-of-Things (IoT) world. You learned how EDA replaces commands issued with the recognition of significant events occurring and automates response to those events in many cases performed by other systems.

Along the way, we also explored the advantages and challenges encountered when using EDA. If anything has become clear, EDA’s time has arrived and will be a welcome architecture for current and future development. You may even have some projects on the stack right now that would be better developed in the EDA architecture!

The question then becomes…how can you minimize time-to-value?

Achieving the Longest Time-to-Value

Extending time-to-value is certainly not something you want to do but worth discussing upfront. Eventually, you want to have all your developers and architects learn everything about EDA.
But should you choose to do so in preparation for your first EDA project, they will miss out on excellent opportunities to gain insights that help them derive a far superior experience from whatever training you or they choose to take.

Even more critical, you will add to the duration of the training. There’s also the needed trial-and-error practice time to consider when putting new skills to work on your project. Your time-to-value will be considerably longer, which serves no one.

The Two Essential Elements – Expertise and Experience

You have three primary strategies available to you to bring the needed expertise and experience to your EDA project:

Hire Someone

Preferably, you would like to bring someone to your first EDA project who has experience using the architecture. Seeking to hire such an expert is full of significant challenges.

Given your own unfamiliarity, how will you evaluate your candidates? Where will you find candidates? How much compensation will a capable candidate want? What if you choose the wrong person?

Simply put, the hiring route may incur delays similar to training your existing team. And once again, this extends the time-to-value.

Contract Someone

You’re familiar with the Gig Economy and know of individuals who contract out regularly to firms like yours. Perhaps you can find one who is already up-to-speed on EDA. The chances are good they will be available at the start, reasonably priced, and can manage to make it through the entire project without a hitch.

Or…they may fall ill, find another gig they like better, or make horrendous mistakes that stop the project. You really don’t know what to expect going in. You can only hope for the best, and hope is not a strategy.

Fortunately, if they default on their agreement, it’s fairly simple to put an end to it and start over. But this is not something you want to do.

Engage an Expert Firm

Today, partnering is the key to so many challenges. Finding a suitable firm is far easier than locating a properly-skilled person. A quality firm will field many skilled experts in EDA as well as many other valuable and adjacent skills and capabilities. EDA is not new, but it is only now picking up momentum, and a professional firm will be prepared to help clients before anyone else.

When selecting a firm to engage, inspect what you expect in the way of expertise. You might want to look for a partner with well-known industry certifications from big tech and cloud providers. Since EDA can benefit from a whole range of skills from software architecture, DevOps, microservices, and other technology integrations, certifications can be a signal that you are talking to a more experienced firm.

Next, go beyond the partner’s expertise. One thing that is often in short supply is experience. Not every firm has encountered EDA projects as yet. Others simply haven’t adopted EDA in their practice. You don’t want to be their test case.

Before you interview a firm, review their standard statements-of-work, master service agreements, and other legal documentation. EDA projects are simply not trivial, nor are they inexpensive. Nobody wants to abandon a project midstream to change providers, and you do not want to discover you cannot recover fees for which you have not received value.

Perhaps even more important are the protections specified in the agreement. You will likely be exposing a great deal of information to your selected firm. Your fiduciary responsibility requires that you assure the protection of your company’s proprietary and intellectual property.

Since many of your own employees will interact with members of the chosen firm, you also want to assure protection against the partner hiring your people or otherwise interfering with your business. You also want to confirm ownership of any code or other products of this engagement to assure that you won’t end up “locked-in” to the partner in the future or find yourself paying repeating royalties.

Working Together

When talking about any technology, many people forget that the working relationship they have with those they partner with is paramount. The success of your EDA project may easily depend more upon the “chemistry” between you and your chosen firm than any other element.

So meet with them, either virtually or in person, before any discussion of the project commences. Get a feeling for who they are, what they value, what their standards are, and how they prefer to work with clients. Focus on finding out what their approaches are to knowledge transfer, open collaboration, and continuous improvement.

You definitely want to take full advantage of the value of having your own people learn from their people. This will not only serve you well during the operation of your system, it will also benefit your internal team in the value and outsized impact they receive from future training. This will also serve to boost their intrinsic dignity.

If possible, explore the partner’s reputation by searching on social networks and search engines. Your diligence upfront will pay back repeatedly as your project progresses.

Event-Driven Architecture is just one of the methods our product development teams use to drive your success. Contact 3Pillar Global today to learn how we can do it for you.

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