Today we finished our week long workshop with the Hursley guys. I really feel we got a good grip on the capabilities of the WSRR. Yesterday I showered praise on the product, so today, being a Libra, I will rant a bit about some drawbacks, before I end on a more positive note.
My main concern with the product is that it still pretty raw. A lot of the configuring goes on in XML and properties files, and functionality is tweaked using Java plug-ins. This is both a strength and a weakness. A strength, because it is flexible and standards based. A weakness, because it makes it really easy to get lost in all the config files. I’m not sure it is a big problem for our customers – after all, that’s why they hire consultants 🙂 . But I sure would love some tooling that could simplify some of the more routine tasks, such as customizing the navigation tree.
But at the end of the day (which it literally is – I’m awaiting a late night flight to Finland), I feel very positive about the possibilities with this product. A different story is the one about the learning curve for both us and our customers when it comes to implement governance from a people’s perspective. I think I’ve quoted this before, but i do it again, because it illustrates the core problem: Everybody wants governance, but no one wants to be governed. We will have to strike a balance with our customers between too much procedural rigor and too little. Most will likely come from a history of no governance at all, so we will have to find ways to introduce sufficient, yet pragmatic processes, especially when we start using tools to enforce procedural compliance. This will require other skills than the purely technical ones required to install and configure WSRR. It will be a most exciting journey!
My hope is that we will soon have a first version of Baseline implemented for WSRR – I’ll keep you updated in this space.