It was Socrates who first forwarded the notion of "everything in moderation", which happened to be inscribed over the entrance of the temple of Apollo at Delphi along with the maxim "Know thyself."

Though we often utter these famous words of wisdom when declining a second drink or while indulging in a particularly fattening dessert, these maxims should be considered by every organization currently facing the challenge of implementing SOA Governance.

Know Thyself

Governance is about policy and maintaining organizational standards/requirements surrounding services and service usage. Because SOA Governance is about the implementation of a process through which organizational policies and requirements can be implemented and enforced, you need to know your organization's requirements as well as the people (developers, business owners) who must build, maintain, and use the services. It is important to understand whether your developers will actually embrace or eschew policies regarding reuse and reviews, and determine how much of the process needs to be automatically enforced and how much can be trusted to the human element.

Know what you need to implement for a successful initiative, not what anyone tells you you must have.

Everything in Moderation

As with any kind of policy, you can be too zealous in your enforcement. Too much cracking of the whip and you may drive away developers, not enough and you could end up never seeing the benefits of reuse or slowly wasting away your considerable investment in SOA. Carefully balance your SOA governance and recognize that at least in the beginning, SOA Governance policies should be more fluid and dynamic. Be ready to modify policies and relax - or tighten - enforcement as you find that "sweet spot" that generates the most benefits from your investments both in SOA and SOA governance.

Don't be afraid to enforce policies, but recognize that implementing a policy for the sake of having a policy is no more productive than buying technology for technology's sake.

More on SOA Governance -

Understanding SOA Governance from Network Computing

A brief post and some quotes from David Linthicum over at InfoWorld touches on this concept and points out that like wine and food, too much SOA can be a Very Bad Thing.

Imbibing: Coffee