Who, Why, What? Communicate clearly

In order for an organization to be successful and achieve its mandate, what do you think are the fundamental things that everyone involved in an organization needs to clearly understand? Three questions initially came to my mind:

  • WHO we are?
  • WHY we exist?
  • WHAT we do?

There are few variations and opinions you will encounter when reading through articles on this topic. However, the following are the common themes in a simplified form and we needs a bird’s eye view of an organization to be able to answer these questions.

  • Motivation: WHY does the organization work the way it does?
  • Function: HOW does the organization carry out its work to deliver the value?
  • People: WHO does what?
  • Network: WHERE is the work conducted?
  • Data: WHAT things are needed – i.e., resources and information?
  • Time: WHEN does work need to happen?

The discipline of holistically looking at an organization and conducting it’s analysis, design, planning and development is called “Enterprise Architecture“. Refer to Zachman Framework and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) if you are interested in learning more about widely used Enterprise Architecture frameworks.

Enterprise Architecture Domains

Well defined Business Architecture Artifacts such as below can help providing answers and bringing clarity to those questions.

Please remember when creating artifacts:

  • Use simple language and diagrams as appropriate to convey the message.
    • Your goal should be to create things that can easily be understood by everyone at every level of the organization. If it’s complicated and hard to understand, no one will reference and use them.
  • Simplify Simplify Simplify… and Simplify!
    • Break down existing complexity – prioritize and focus on creating things that will help simplifying complexity, and support establishing a foundation to keep your organization moving efficiently, enable to respond quickly and adopt to ever changing environment.

Let’s keep things simpleBe logical, prioritize and focus on things that are important, communicate clearly using plain language to get everyone on the same page, foster collaboration to channel energy of your organization… and take your organization to the next level one step at a time!

Techie Princesa at Signiel Seoul.View of Seoul, Korea from Signiel, Seoul Hotel

View of Han River from 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul, October 2018

My ideal workplace is…

  • A place that treats people as its most valuable asset
  • A place that provides me opportunities to constantly challenge myself, learn new things and grow not only professionally but personally
  • A place that allows me to have a work and life balance
  • A place that encourages open communications
  • A place that see failure as an opportunity for teams to learn from
  • A place that recognize and appreciate good people and good work
  • A place where there is team spirit

What’s your ideal work environment? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below. 🙂

A photo taken in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Leadership is NOT

  • Leadership is NOT about holding a position with a fancy title in an organization.
  • Leadership is NOT about being in charge and telling people what to do.
  • Leadership is NOT about having a loud voice and being right all the time.
  • Leadership is NOT about finding weakness in others and shifting accountability.

I will call you a leader if you stay relevant to the people you serve and work with, by engaging them regularly, listening and validating their needs carefully and creating a culture of collaboration by working on building trust and respect with everyone involved.

I will call you a leader if you work on empowering employees who have the needs, answers, knowledge and expertise in their field to make the decisions on how to get their job done, and done efficiently to best serve the need of our customers. You believe that best idea must always win regardless of your position, background and experiences.

sunrise

Watching Sunrise From 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul in October 2018

Know your business needs first!

Are you looking to retire your legacy applications or invest in new technology platforms to serve the need of your business better?

It’s important to remember that Technology is a Business Enabler

  • Buying a new technology will not fix your broken and/or inefficient business processes.
  • Do not choose and invest in new technologies unless you clearly understand the business problems you are trying to solve.
  • Technology will drive process improvements and transform the way business function if and only if it’s carefully chosen based on the business needs and used to support optimized business processes.

Here are some questions that will help you when formulating the migration strategy for your legacy applications:

  1. What are the purpose of your applications?
  2. What business processes do your applications support?
  3. If you have multiple applications in scope for the migration, are there any commonalities between them?
    • Important! Do you see an opportunity to consolidate them into a comprehensive, integrated enterprise system to reduce technology footprints and improve business processes?
  4. Are your applications integrated with each other? If so, what are the integration points?
  5. How large, complex your applications are?
    • # of forms, screens, menus, # of reports, complexity of reports…etc
    • # of databases and database tables, and its association to applications/forms/screen
    • Any plugins?
  6. Are they all internal applications (i.e. internal corporate use only)?
  7. Are they external facing applications (i.e. external users/stakeholders involved)
    • What are external users’ impact?
    • What are the risks involved?
  8. How authentication and authorization are handled?
  9. Is database migration also in scope along with the applications?
    • Is there a central database that your applications are currently interacting with?
    • If so, what are the integration points?
  10. Can each of the application be broken into individual modules (or group of functionalities) to migrate them in groups/phases?
    • You can use this as an indicator for determining how you can run the project in agile way.
  11. How well your applications are documented (i.e. business rules)?
    • Is there any tools that you can use to scan existing code to extract business rules?
  12. Are all functionalities exists currently being used and that they all need to be migrated over to new platform?
    • Any unused functionalities that you can retire?
  13. Can you determine the migration priorities?
    • If you have a limited resource capacity, priority must be determined.
    • Which application will provide the most business value when migrated over?
    • Which application will be most simple to migrate over?
    • Which business groups are most open for changes and new technology adoptions?
  14. Any enhancements that must be considered?
    • Are there any pain points raised by the stakeholders that you would like to address right away as part of the migration?

Once you define the strategy, a key to succeed in any migration project is planning, with an understanding that each migration project is different.

Remember:

  • Set a clear migration vision, goals, expectations
  • Not one approach fit all, spend adequate time on planning really goes a long way.
  • Use agile approach as appropriate for executing development work (see a diagram below for one of the potential agile approach you can take when migrating legacy application)

Database Application Migration

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Throughout my career, I’ve been involved in various digital transformation and migration projects as Applications Architect, Developer, Quality Assurance, Technical Team Lead, Business Systems Analyst, Business Analyst, Project Manager and Scrum Master. To name a few:

  • Website platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Interaction > Oracle WebCenter Portal
    • Oracle WebCenter Portal > WordPress
  • Enterprise search platform migration
    • Oracle Secure Enterprise Search > ElasticSearch
  • Enterprise Identity Management platform migration
    • Oracle Identity Management > EmpowerID
  • Online collaboration spaces, Intranet & Records Management platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Spaces > Igloo Collaboration platform
    • Oracle Universal Content Management > Igloo Collaboration platform
  • Database Application migration
    • PostgreSQL/Java Application to > MariaDB/Custom PHP Application
  • Enterprise E-learning platform migration
    • WebCT/Blackboard > Moodle
  • Enterprise In-house Legacy Applications (analysis only)
    • Custom Visual Basic applications > Java application

Let’s connect on LinkedIn. linkedin logo

 

Attitude matters

We should never be afraid to say “I don’t know” at work. There is no shame in not knowing something since it’s not possible to be an expert at everything and know it all. What matters is one’s honesty and attitude when facing “I don’t know” moments. I believe that we will go far if:

  • we work on turning “I don’t know” moments into “let’s figure it out” opportunities
  • we are curious about the unknown and willing to learn new things to find answers
  • we work together to share knowledge and leverage each others’ strengths

I often value one’s attitude more than their knowledge and skills especially when it comes to team work. I enjoy working with someone who is honest and humble, and confident enough to admit they don’t have all the answers.  “I don’t know, but let me see what I can do.“, “I don’t know, but what do you think?” or “I don’t know, but let’s figure it out together.” attitude is what I think is important and I value.

It’s our attitude that matters and can make all the difference.

Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Photo taken in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay 2018

Letter from my mom in 1995

I left home (Seoul, Korea) and came to Canada alone to study when I was 16 years old. This is the letter that my mom gave it to me in the morning of the day that I left home in 1995. It was an exciting yet quite difficult journey for a 16 years old girl, facing completely new life in Canada. I read this letter countless times throughout my journey and reminded myself of my mom who made a difficult yet brave decision to send her 16 years old daughter with only hope that I will grow to be a strong and bright women who not only knows how to take care of myself but also others in need, and be an independent, beautiful person with a good heart.

It’s first time sharing this letter, so I really hope you enjoy it. Take a moment to think of your mom and their unconditional love. I would love to hear your stories as well so please leave feedback/comments below. ❤ Thanks for reading!

————————————————

Dear daughter,
My dear daughter,
Become a good, beautiful, strong and brave woman.
Even if everyone else is walking down the different path than yours, do not be discouraged. Walk on your own path proudly.
Choose your own path based on what you think is right.
And learn to love and accept those who are going down different paths.
Above all, learn how to love.
A place without love is hell, so learn how to love and use it every day.
More and more you use toothpaste, what you will end up with is an empty tube that you will throw away.
Love is different. More you use it, it will grow bigger and become greater.

Dear daughter! My dear daughter,
Do not think of and treat people as business.
Do not calculate what you give and what you receive.
Love is not the same as doing your Math homework.
Life is a series of meetings and departures, nothing more or less.
Many people end up filling up their lives with painful encounters and breakups.
Of course I pray that your life will be filled with happy encounters and good luck.
However, many people will come into your life and also leave your life one day.
Some may end up leaving you in bad terms,
Some may just disappear as time goes by – as the string that connects you and those are not strong enough and become thin over time naturally.
Some may build a strong relationship with you for a long time, but they may eventually leave your life due to death.
So, my dear daughter –
Remember no relationship is eternal in this life… and why its precious.

I have the responsibility and the right to love and respect you.
Please be careful not to lose yourself in your journey.
Dear daughter,
My dear daughter,
When you face the world, you will encounter both luck and misfortune.
I wish you all the best of luck, however,
Sometimes you may face misfortune.
Everyone feels cold rain on their shoulder sometimes.
Everyone faces challenges and difficulties in their journey.
You can prepare an umbrella for those cold rainy days that you may face, however,
Not always you can block all those pouring rain and prevent yourself from getting wet.
I believe that God is fair and he will not give you a heavy burden that you will not be able to bear.

Dear daughter, My dear daughter,
If you see sadness in your neighbour’s face,
Offer them a hot cup of tea.
You will be able to feel great joy in that hot cup of tea you offer to those in need.

Dear daughter,
When you encounter cold wind of trials, be courageous and brave.
Fight courageously and overcome.
When you overcome those obstacles and pass through those cold wind, you will become a more strong and beautiful woman than you were before.

Dear daughter,
My dear daughter,
I love you.

1995.6.26
Love Mom.

————————————————

딸아,
나의 딸아.
착하고 아름답고 씩씩하고 강인한 여자가 되어라.
세상 사람들이 네길과 다른길을 가더라도..
너는 네길을 가면서, 낙담하지 말고.
네가 옳다고 생각하는 길을 씩씩하게 선택해라.
그리고 네길과 다른길을 가는 사람들을 사랑하고 받아들여라.
무엇보다도 사랑하는 방법을 배워라.
사랑이 없는곳은 지옥이니, 사랑을 배워 나날이 써라.
사랑은 다 쓰면 껍질로 남는 치약이 아니고,
쓰면 쓸수록 샘물솟듯 솟아오름이 사랑이란다.

딸아! 나의 딸아.
사람을 장사나 사업으로 생각하지 말아라.
내가 이만큼 주었는데
저쪽에선 아무것도 갚아주지 않았다고 셈하지 말아라.
사랑은 산수 숙제가 아니란다.
인생이란 알고보면 만남과 헤어짐의 연속일뿐
그 이상도 그 이하도 아니란다.
대부분의 사람들은 다소 고통스런 만남과 이별로 인생을 메꾸어간다.
물론 나는 네가 좋은 만남의 행운의 생을 살길 두손모아 빌고 빈다.
너에게 오는 그 숱한 사람들은 언젠가는 너와 이별하게 된다.
그중에 일부는 너와 싸우고는 등돌려 떠나가고,
또 일부는 그관계의 끈이 가늘고 약해서 시간이 흐르면서 흐지부지 잊혀져 간다.
오랫동안 더불어 누리는 만남도 죽음이라는게 있어 갈라 놓기도 한다.
그래서 딸아.
만남은 그렇게 영원한것이 아니기에 소중하고 귀중한 것이란다.

나는 너를 아끼고 존경하고 사랑해야할 책임과 권리가 있다.
그러므로 너의 자아를 상실하지 않도록 조심해야 한다.
딸아, 나의 딸아.
네가 세상에 나가며 여러가지 몫으로 지워진 행운과 불운을 만나게 될것이다.
내게는 행운만 있기를 기원하지만
간혹 불운이란것도 다가올지 모른다.
사람은 모두 시련의 차가운 비를 피하지 못한다.
각기 다르고 무게도 다르지만 누구나 제각기 시련과 고통을 겪게 되는 법이다.
사람으로서 찬비를 가릴 우산을 가질수 있지만
우산으로 가리기엔 모자랄 때도 있단다.
하느님은 공평하신 분이므로 사람이 감당하지 못할 무거운 짐은 지워주지 않으시리라 믿는다.

딸아, 나의 딸아.
너의 이웃이 우울한 표정일때.
그사람에게 더운 차 한잔을 대접해라.
네가 산 한잔의 차로 기쁨을 느낄것이다.

딸아.
시련의 찬 바람이 왔을때 용기를 내고 씩씩해라.
용감하게 싸워라 극복해야 한다.
시련과 찬 바람을 이긴 너는 그 전보다 더욱 훌륭하고 아름다운 여자가 될것이다.

딸아,
나의 딸아.
나는 너를 사랑한다.

1995.6.26
너를 사랑하는 엄마가.

 

#엄마와딸 #엄마 #딸 #poem #momanddaughter #love #unconditionallove #letter #lifelesson #inspirational #dailypoem #손편지 #엄마편지 #편지

Self advice

I fell…
Get up.

I failed…
Try again.

I was wrong…
Correct it.

I regret…
Change it.

I should have done it…
Do it now.

Look ahead.
Learn from mistakes.
Make things better one step at a time.

-Sarah Chun