Friday, May 04, 2007

Getting the cart back behind the horse

I had several fantastic discussions with some old and new friends in the identity space yesterday, to discuss some exciting new approaches out there, and also to see how things were going in the trenches. The common theme was that people are getting the cart back behind the horse.

One of my first calls was with a fellow Red Sox fan and IdM project leader at a large beverage company who was a year into an implementation. The feedback we exchanged was that things were going very well now, especially since the client understood twhat they bought, why they bought it and why things needed to happen in a certain way and in certain phases. There were also very defined criteria for each phase that insured the next phase would not be started without a hood check on the phase that was wrapping up and sign off that the criteria had been met, was as correct at the end of the phase as when it was started and did anything need to be accounted for or changed in the criteria going forward.

This spoke to my long held belief that where you want to end up is FAR more important than where you start. Adding checks and balances keeps things tranparent and diminshes politics or gee whiz ideas from polluting the project in each phase. The cart is behind the horse, and focusing on the process has yielded measurable success. Glad to hear it.

One of my other conversations later in the day was with Sailpoint's CEO Mark McClain. While we had never met until yesterday, we knew a lot of the same folks in the business and it was another great discussion and fun to remember when provisioning was something you did to prepare a boat for a weekend trip.

The take away I had from the discussion was that Sailpoint was addressing a very key issue in the IdM world in my sole opinion, which was tying the metrics of a project to business process, and providing metrics at the outset and during the entire business operation of mitigating risk and determining where a company needs to focus and why. In essence I see their solution as the check and balance for the business folks in an organization to understand - through ongoing measurement of technology and process - what was yielding the desired successes and why, and ultimately how big their bonus might be by turning data into information that will drive the right process for project execution and ultimately reduced risk for an organization.

I also spoke to the founder of a company still in stealth mode that is putting the polish on their organization. I chair their Strategic Advisory Board, and some exciting - and common sense - approaches are afoot with these folks to extract all of the value of the Right Process. I will be blogging more about this when they launch.

Have a great weekend, and it is amazing to see the Boston Red Sox leading the AL East, crushing the Yankees out of the gate, and Beckett pitcing like we know he can. The Curse does indeed feel reversed at this point in the season...



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