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Architecting Agile Projects
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12/23/2013 at 2:46:09 PM GMT
Architecting Agile Projects

Does anyone have an practical information on how to go about architecting projects that are following an agile development method rather than a waterfall approach? Within my organisation I'm seeing an increased interest in these sorts of developments and rapid prototyping and our architecture framework, which is based on TOGAF, doesn't seem to fit that well. For example, we normally plan for 2-4 weeks for a design review (preparing the draft materials, circulating to stakeholders, arranging the meeting,...) but agile project cycles are far more rapid than that!

My own thoughts about this are that you need to agree the development environment upfront that the project team will work within and then only have specific design or design review check points, leaving the project free to work its inner cycles, provided they don't loose touch with the architecture!

If someone has good information and experience on this, I'm sure it would make a good article.

 

Andrew



1/6/2014 at 1:25:16 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Architecting Agile Projects

Andrew,

My organisation is undergoing the same experience. We are officially both a TOGAF and Agile shop and sometimes it is difficult to marry the two. I recently had a conversation with the head of our innovation team - they design, develop and deliver (lab) solutions outside the normal boundaries.

I gave him an example of the development of a car. The basic car architecture as we know it - with an engine in front - was basically derived from the arrangement of the horse carriage. But it took a while to develop the CV joints that allow a front engine-d car to drive the front wheels. But now we know better. The car's engine can be placed in the middle or even the back of a car BUT never on top (unless you want to design a helicopter OR, just like CV-joints, it may be because we have not come up with a way of transmitting power from a roof-mounted engine to the wheels on the ground).

The scenario I have painted above goes to the heart of the friction between agile development and architecture. On one hand, innovation, is inherently agile, disruptive and does not like working in or constrained by boxes (think Zachman Framework) and on the other, architecture is about creating a (hopefully flexible) structure (think TOGAF) in which work can be performed agilely. So what must come first: the structure or the work to be done within that structure?

The car example clearly demonstrated that they both can co-exist. One way we have managed to do it in my organisation is to eliminate the architectural boundaries between business, data, application and technology. In that we everyone is now a "solution architect" that must define, plan, develop and deliver a solution from inception to production. In this way the architect oversees all the work, guiding it according to architectural principles but without sacrificing agility. Practically that means that as an architect you need to allow the design and development team to begin "writing code" before while the, for example, the architectural impacts are being investigated. Should the design and development team end up with an engine on the roof, you can correct them to get down to the floor - unless in the meantime they have figured a way of driving the wheels from a roof-mounted engine in which case a new architecture for the car is born! But at what cost if the design and development team have to re-mount the engine to the floor? Well the question to ask is at what cost is innovation?

Regards,

Bowie

 



5/17/2017 at 12:45:15 PM GMT
Posts: 1
We combine Agile with Design Thinking.
Here is an article to read
https://medium.com/startup-study-group/how-to-combine-design-thinking-and-agile-in-practice-36c9fc75c6e6

I've found Agile fits well with the Team Solution Design method.


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