API — It's All About Organization! Part 1

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API — It's All About Organization! Part 1

We need to make sure we're acknowledging the people in API management!

· Integration Zone ·
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Doing an API management project may seem simple. At the very least, it's about making a third-party system available via an API and securing its access. That's without counting the people involved!

The Actors of API Management

To begin, we can list typical actors involved:

  • The CxO who decided that the APIs were part of the company's strategy but doesn't give you very strong sponsorship
  • Other CxOs that have other priorities than APIs
  • Business A users that want to access data but don't have time for you
  • Business B users that are responsible for the data exposed but have no time for you
  • The developers of the solution who want to access the data
  • The developers of the solution that exposes the data
  • Members of the API management team
  • The members of the other business team you never heard of who say they are interested in the API
  • A dogmatic architect who goes through (#trollModeActivated #IAmAlsoAnArchitect)

It is clear that there is a multiplicity of actors, all of whom will push in their own direction. And we quickly lose any form of coordination if:

  • The API management team doesn't play a constructive coordinating role
  • If there is no sponsorship of CxO members

The Challenge of Complexity

It is, therefore, necessary to master the complexity of the company and the complexity due to its interactions and its actors. Indeed, see complex systems theory, the complexity of the "company" system lies in the high number of actors and the high number of interactions between the actors!

What is complicated is not to make an API with one actor, but to make an API with, by, and for multiple actors. 

So, to make life simpler:

  • Seek to align everyone in the same direction through very good communication, explanations of good practices, etc... 
  • Make the API Management team a central exchange point for any conversation about APIs
  • Infuse knowledge in all teams as much as possible

From there, you have two prerequisites:

  • Clear, simple, and efficient governance is essential.
  • A strong sponsorship should ensure the company's alignment with an API project.

The most often used organization mode is the governance mode that I call open source. API Team frame, guide, help, support, but above all allow everyone to contribute easily and efficiently.

We will see all this in more detail in the second part of the article, on how we can manage exactly all of these people involved.

api ,api management ,api organization

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