Leveraging a Partner for EDA Success

By reading the past ten chapters in this series you’ve 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’ve learned how it replaces commands issued with recognition of significant events occurring and automates response to those events in many cases performed by other systems. We’ve 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 to minimize time-to-value.

Achieving the Longest Time-to-Value

Certainly not something you want to do but worth discussing upfront. Eventually, you’ll 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’ll miss out on excellent opportunities to gain insights that will help them derive a far superior experience from whatever training you or they choose to take. Even more critical, you’ll be adding the duration of the training plus their needed trial-and-error practice time putting new skills to work to your project. Your time-to-value will be considerably longer which serves no one.

The Two Essential Elements – Expertise and Experience

You have several strategies available to you to bring the needed expertise and experience to your EDA project, including:

Hire Someone

Preferably, you’d 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 delay similar to training your existing staff once again delaying time-to-value.

Contract Someone

You’re familiar with the Gig Economy and know of individuals who contract themselves out regularly to firms like yours. Perhaps you can find one who is already up to speed on EDA. The chance is there that they will be available, reasonably priced, and 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 going in what to expect. You can only hope for the best, and hope is not a strategy. Fortunately, if they default on their agreement with you its fairly simple to put an end to it and start over. Not something you’d like 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 likely adjacent skills and capabilities. EDA is not new, but it is only now picking up momentum and a professional firm will depend upon being prepared to help clients before anyone else.

When selecting a firm to engage, certainly 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, those certifications can be a signal that you are talking to a more experienced firm.

Next, go beyond their expertise. One thing that may often be 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 even begin to interview a firm ask to 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 have to abandon a project midstream to change providers, nor do you 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’ll 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 be interacting with members of the chosen firm you also want to assure protection against them hiring your people or otherwise interfering with your business. You’ll 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 them in the future, nor 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.

Sit down and 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 approach to knowledge transfer is. You definitely want to take full advantage of the value of having your own people learn from their people. This will not only serve during the operation of your system, but it will also benefit them in the value they’ll enjoy from future training.

If possible, also explore their reputation by searching for them on social networks and search engines. Your diligence upfront will pay back repeatedly as your project progresses.

Shameless plug: We certainly hope you’ll include Tiempo Development in your search for a capable partner to work with on your EDA project. Knowledge transfer and earning our reputation for excellence are our highest priorities. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

 

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