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This chapter is from the book 6.2 The SOA Governance Program Office (SGPO)

6.2 The SOA Governance Program Office (SGPO)

The first step in any SOA governance effort is to establish a group (or department) that assumes the responsibility of defining and administering the various parts of an SOA governance system. This group forms the SOA Governance Program Office (SGPO), an organizational entity that is commonly comprised of trained SOA Governance Specialists, Enterprise Architects, and other types of IT decision-makers. The SGPO is given the authority to define and enforce the on-going activities and rules associated with SOA governance.

A primary responsibility of the SGPO is to author a series of formal precepts. In some cases, the SGPO may need to request amendments to existing IT governance precepts to accommodate the distinct needs of SOA projects, as the SGPO needs to avoid inadvertently defining conflicting precepts.

In general, SOA governance precepts are more balanced and more easily accepted when those who are governed have a voice. The SGPO may therefore need to solicit input from major stakeholders, including IT and business managers, senior IT staff, and even the legal department. Those contributing should have an opportunity to comment on pending precepts, propose amendments, and recommend new precepts. However, just because the SGPO solicits input does not imply that it is relinquishing its authority to establish the necessary SOA governance precepts.

Following are some basic guidelines for incorporating the SGPO into an IT environment:

  • The SGPO must have the responsibility and authority to develop and manage the SOA governance system, and other teams must accept the SGPO’s authority.
  • The SGPO must ensure that the SOA governance system aligns with the organization’s incentive and disciplinary systems.
  • The SGPO must develop collaborative working relationships with other governance teams whose responsibilities intersect with those of the SGPO.
  • The SGPO must ensure that its precepts align with other governance systems (Figure 6.3) within the company, or they must work with the other governance program offices to amend the conflicting precepts.
  • The SGPO must have access to communication channels to disseminate information about the governance precepts and to provide training to people affected by them.

Figure 6.3 SOA governance must be defined through a program that can harmoniously co-exist alongside other IT governance programs.

What’s of critical importance is that an appropriate scope be established for the SGPO. There are two primary factors that determine this scope: the reach of the SGPO within the overall IT enterprise and the areas of responsibility assumed by the SGPO within whatever domain it operates.

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