Beyond being a sensitive and prolific musician, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was an exceptional engineer. Some of his engineering masterpieces are the "crab canons" or "canon cancrizans", part of the enigmatic "Musical Offering" he wrote in 1746 for Frederick the Great.
A crab canon is the musical equivalent of a palindrome (no melon, no lemon): a single score is played in the normal forward direction and simultaneously in the backward way, giving the appearance of two voices that are supposed to harmoniously combine together. More complex configurations are also possible, for example combining retrogression with inversion, and so on.
Like Bach's canons, complex organizations and processes are shaped by bidirectional forces: Top-Down and Bottom-Up, and the fact is that WAN Governance makes no exception to the rule. On the one hand, a clear Top-Down approach is mandatory to obtain IT alignment to the global enterprise business and organization: goals and expectations are to be clearly specified, although not in all tiny details:
- What are the business critical applications?
- What are the financial priorities (Opex vs Capex, maximize or optimize …)?
- What are the company knowledge and human resources management policy?
- What are the stakeholders and corresponding WAN governance steering rules?
On the other hand (should we say on the other way?), Bottom-Up behavior guarantees a realistic approach sticking to the field: operation teams can think, propose and decide within their competency scope - they are the experts, after all:
- What are the most appropriate tools to support the WAN Governance processes?
- What are the day-to-day tasks to be achieved, and how?
- What are the best manners to interact with other organizations (IT and application specialists, technology vendors, Telcos, Hosting companies…)?
- What are the options that must be considered to support significant changes in application delivery?
A perfect combination of both approaches, where Top-Down and Bottom-Up are perfectly interwoven without useless overlap will provide an efficient, smooth and motivating WAN Governance activity, just like the two Bach's voices perfectly combined in a single canon build a musical universe that flies us to Heavens.
Illustration: Young Johann Sebastian Bach. 1715 – by J. E. Rentsch, the Elder.
Would you be curious about the link between Bach's cancrizans and Moebius strip, just take three minutes looking at this (also available on http://strangepaths.com/canon-1-a-2/2009/01/18/en/):