I’m putting together some presentations for a handful of upcoming engagements, where I’m wanting to help my audience understand what an initial engagement will look like. While I am looking to have just a handful of bullets that can live on a single, or handful of slides, I also want a richer narrative to go along with it. To achieve this I rely on my blog, which helps me work my way through the details of what I do, and distill things down into something that I can deliver on the ground within the companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies I am conducting business with.
When I am sitting down with a new audience, and working to help them understand how I can help them begin, jumpstart, revive, and move forward with their API journey, I’m usually breaking things into three main areas:
- Landscape Mapping - Establish a map of what currently is within an organization.
- Internal Resources - What existing web services, APIs, teams, and resources exist?
- External Objectives - What are the external objectives of doing APIs?
- Strategy Development - Craft a coherent strategy for moving forward with APIs.
- API Lifecycle - Lay out a step by step list of stops along a modern API life cycle.
- API Support - Identify how the strategy and operations will be supported within an organization.
- API Evangelism - Consider how the message around API operations will spread internally, and externally.
- Execution - Identify a clear set of next steps regarding how APIs will evolve.
- Infrastructure - What services, tooling, and other API infrastructure is needed?
- Resources - What resources have been identified for moving the API conversation forward?
- Governance - What is the governance strategy for measuring, reporting upon, and enforcing the deliver of APIs across the API lifecycle presented.
When I present to a new group of people within an organization, this is the outline I am looking to flesh out. I have to understand what is already occurring (or not) on the ground, which is why I need the landscape map. Then, borrowing from my existing API research I can help develop a a detailed strategy, which includes the critical elements of how we will be supporting and evangelizing the effort–which without, API efforts will always struggle. After that, I want to quickly get to work on how we will be executing on this vision, even if it just involves more investment in the landscape map, and overall strategy.
I am working on more detailed materials to hand out prior to, and at the time I sit down with new clients, but I wanted to articulate in a single page, and using a simple set of bullets what I am looking to accomplish with any new consulting relationship. With a map in hand, and an strategy in mind, I’m confident that I can help folks I talk with move forward with their API journey in a more meaningful way. Something not everyone I talk with is confident in doing on their own, but with a little assistance, I’m pretty sure they will be able to get to work defining what the API journey will look like for their organization.