Scaling Agile means Scalable Architecture

With the growing popularity of Agile, mainly in applying scrum for IT development, issues need to be tackled relating to scaling up the development effort. Scrum came to birth in small teams that had a lot of mandate, typically 3 to 10 person teams. These days we see Scrum used for major efforts, involving hundreds of developers, testers, and what not. An example of that “scaling agile” is the DevOps teams originating with the Dutch bank ING. Another is the Spotify approach (with its...

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The Death of the Mail Man

David Horsey Copyright 2013 Tribune Media Services The invention of the modern computer can be seen as a fundamental paradigm shift. But contrary to what the technology geeks want to make us believe, it is not about technology, digital content, the internet, or electronic devices. Since it can (and in a few decades, will) be seen as fundamental, and since we are still in the thick of it, it is very hard to realise the implications of this revolution. We are part of the “Zeitgeist”,...

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Round instead of square

This is a typical artefact from an architect: It consists of the typical modelling constructs found in those work products from architects: squares, blocks, rectangular things stacked on each other. For many people, even architects I fear, architecture is more or less synonymous with stacking blocks in layers. The work products in TOGAF are also named as such: building blocks. Blocks. It reveals a mind set, a paradigm if you will, with which problems of an architectural nature are approached:...

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The need for clarity

In the Netherlands we have this saying when we want to describe how we “translate” complex documents in esoteric language for a larger audience: “Jip en Janneke taal” (the language of Jip and Janneke). Jip and Janneke are the names of the two main protagonists in a series of  children’s novels by a great Dutch writer, Annie M.G. Schmidt. The series was written in the period between 1952 and 1957 and is still required reading for kids all over...

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What is it an architect actually does?

During a conversation the other day I was asked: what was it exactly you did as an enterprise architect with that organisation? This question was asked by a manager of a staff department responsible for architecture, especially enterprise architecture. I attempted to explain my approach to architecture in general: which people to involve, how to ensure alignment with the “floor”, the synchronous establishment of bottom-up as well as top-down transformations, how to grow architecture...

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Everyone’s an architect

Sometimes you encounter people who say: “I’m an architect.” I usually respond with: “Everyone’s an architect.” Why? An architect is not a label for a specific kind of person. Well in practice it is, but it should not be. What kind of person is associated with “architect”? Well, it depends. Usually it is “expensive”, or “old” or even “obsolete”. Or it might be: “superhumanly smart” or “using esoteric...

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RACI for Enterprise Architecture

In general companies have installed an executive hierarchy. This hierarchy is one that has been evolved and tested over a long period of time. We have reasonably clear ideas about what it should establish. People have one boss, who more or less decides about their roles, assesses their performance, and decides what to do when the performance is not up to standards. These bosses in turn have a boss themselves. A competence hierarchy is usually not so well established in a company, if it is present...

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UML for functional programming?

This question was asked on Stackoverflow and ModelingLanguages and prompted me to attempt to make some persistent preconceptions about UML clearer. First of all: UML is not about modelling object-oriented software. Origin of object-orientation But maybe we should go back to what object-orientation is. OO (shorthand for object-orientation) is invented around 1970. Xerox had a group called the Software Research Group which was part of a think tank created to do research into the possible threats...

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What is a method?

(Americans often refer to a method with the term “methodology”, which is not entirely correct semantically, as it would mean “the science of methods”) Examples of methods are ORM, RUP, and one could argue Scrum or agile approaches like DAD. Inspired by the book by Ian Graham et.al., The OPEN Process Specification I share the following UML model of a method with you. It shows what a (proper) method consists of. To illustrate, UML itself for example is a Modelling Language,...

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The territory and the map

The Map is not the Territory by Claudio Gatti Recent responses to my article on Mirrors prompted me to attempt to clarify the approach in that article. I think there is a fundamental philosophical discovery to be made in what I try to say, and indeed some of those responses confirm that. But it is as much a path to discovery to me as it is to my readers. Architects create models. Indeed they do. People, human beings, use language. Certainly. The two things are related. In fact they are the same...

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