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An Overview: Agile and Enterprise Architecture

StrategyDriven Project Management Article |Agile Architecture|An Overview: Agile and Enterprise ArchitectureAgile is basically a philosophy that accompanies a way of working. It goes beyond the simple process because it encompasses a way of understanding how our work, our organization, our way of interacting and responding to stakeholders has changed.

Many large multinationals already have it integrated and it is part of their culture, and more and more organizations are doing the same. It is not a fad; it is not something that can pass you by, because it has fit into a changing, demanding and information overdose environment. You have to know how to be agile, flexible and decisive. The smart working is something that has come and hopefully to stay.

Agile origin

Back in 2001, what we know today as the Agile Manifesto was born, by the hand of several American CEOs of the technology sector (software) and they decided to combine various ideas to propose an alternative to the slow working methods that were not responding to the current ones needs, before your organization and your customers. They put together new ideas and formulas to come up with what they understood could help, through continuous improvement.

The goal was to improve quality, productivity, engagement, and be fast.

What is agile?

As you can see, it is a methodology that aims to modify many of the internal processes of organizations to improve performance and productivity.

How does Agile architecture add value to the business?

In this article we are going to see how architecture is changing in practice. From going from being a mainly technical discipline to new approaches such as participating in strategic business issues, that is, helping traditional companies compete with digital disruptors.

Agile architecture is based on the 360 ??customer vision as the core of any digital design and strategy. Enterprise-level architecture supports the strategic themes and portfolio vision by understanding the portfolio backlog, product vision, and roadmap.

The new approach to architecture makes it possible to offer companies innovative digital models and technologies.

  1. Based on the order book and vision, we have to analyze which solution or platform should be new and which solution or component should be reused in order to optimize cost.
  2. Based on the IT digital strategy , the choice of the new technology has to be decided according to the requirements of the company.
  3. The enterprise architects are the bridge between management product portfolio and high – level view of enterprise solutions and development initiatives. For example, collecting, generating, designing and analyzing innovative ideas and technologies to use in the vision of the product portfolio.
  4. Support the evaluation of the solution in terms of cost benefit in the ecosystem and aligned with the business strategy, stakeholders and portfolio requirements.
  5. Support the implementation of the proposed design , that is, work closing the solution architects within the Agile teams during the delivery of the product, CI and CD and DevOps. Being a reality what was designed and being in practice the business and digital strategy.

We can also optimize the budget and profitability of the product or digital asset as part of the investment in technology and support the business vision and the delivery of the product.

Agile architecture features in practice

Architects play a horizontal connector role as they often combine a technical foundation with business acumen and communication skills.

In this age of rapid change, we need architects who can act as mentors and bridges between project teams, between domains and between different layers of the organization, and with strong technical skills as well. It is a combination of business and technical knowledge.

The roles of Agile architecture distinguish the responsibilities between the architect company, the architect of solutions and systems architect. They collaborate at different levels of the business and service domains. In practice, it means:

  • Enterprise Architects Tool are the bridge between product portfolio management and the high-level vision of enterprise solutions and initiatives under development. They participate in strategic themes, portfolio vision, product roadmap, and portfolio backlog, working together with the venture owner and other stakeholders (see image below). EA collects, generates, designs and analyzes innovative ideas and technologies to use in the vision of the business portfolio.
  • The solution architect and system architects are part of an Agile team. They are part of a tribe or squad to participate directly in the implementation of the solution or the delivery and deployment of the product. They provide the technical design of each case in the delivery of the product.
  • There are some architectures, such as data architecture, security architecture, and enterprise architecture, that are part of the shared services hub. These roles are also considered solution architects and technicians.