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Launching The Agile Architect

May 8, 2010 1 comment

I’ve launched The Agile Architect on it’s own site now.

The Agile Architect is a venture to help Architects become Agile.  The inspiration came when the leaders on a very large project I was working on decided we were going Agile. My first reaction to this news was, “Great! we’re going Agile!” because for many years I have been studying Agile and applying Agile techniques to the teams and projects I had been working on.  However, I had yet to be on a team where the management had totally bought in.

My second reaction was dread because I immediately remembered – I am the Architect.  

The Architect is typically the enemy of the Agile team.  To make matters worse, I was also playing role of Enterprise Architect.  In order for the project to continue to receive funding, they had to obtain Architecture Certification from me.  This is similar to obtaining Development Approval (DA) from local Council.  If you ever attempted to renovate or build, you will know, this is not an Agile Process.

The conflict between the Architecture and the Agile Team

The conflict between Agile and Architecture is well documented and discussed in the blogosphere.  Traditionally, Enterprise Architects enforce a governance model which is based on the Waterfall Model – the antithesis of Agile.  Architectures generally want a very well thought out end-state before anyone commits to coding.  Agile on the other hand says, we need to make something that works and then refine it through refactoring.

Bringing peace to Agile Teams and Architects

What I truly love about being an Architect is that it generally puts me right in the middle of conflict – or what we call stakeholders with competing concerns.  As the Architect, one of my key responsibilities is to perform Architecture Trade-off Analysis between these competing concerns.  I always see this as a way to bring peace between these warring tribes.

When I found myself right in the middle of this brawl, it dawned on me that this is a golden opportunity.  My being in the middle of this is not coincidental and I need to do something more than just survive it.  I need to help others as well.

Visit The Agile Architect

So please go visit The Agile Architect.  I really believe Agile will change the way we work and greatly improve the outcomes we achieve.  I believe in this more than anything I’ve seen in my >20 years of experience in IT.  That’s why I’m passionate about it, writing about it, doing something about it.  Please visit: leave your feedback and encouragement; subscribe and engage.  Help me make a big difference.

What happens to David Hall’s Blog?

I’ll continue blogging here on things that fascinate me.  Sadly, that is mostly technology because that’s what I do.  I subscribe to the axiom that, if you get a job you love, you never work a day in your life! If you’ve worked with me, you know I take never working a day in my life very seriously 🙂   I’ll also try to mix in some writing about the Bronte sunrise, travel and fun with raising the M&Ms (the kids).

Ciao for now!

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Categories: Agile Architect

Dialogue over Diagrams

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

In thinking how Agile changes the role of an Architect, I keep thinking about the Agile Manifesto Axioms or preferences.  For the Agile Architect, I think we need to add a new one:

Dialogue over Diagrams

As with the manifesto, we’re not saying that diagrams are  no longer required.   A diagram is still worth a thousand words.  Also, what would we do with our Visio and UML Tools?

The point of Dialogue over Diagrams is not to say we don’t need diagrams.  The point is that, as Architects, we need to remember that the Diagrams are not the final objective.  Working Software [products] is the final objective.  Working software comes when there is a common understanding between owners and builders of what needs to be built and how it needs to work in order to satisfy the vision of the owner.

I believe the best and fasted way to achieve common understanding is through dialogue.  The diagrams are still necessary, but they are no longer your primary focus.  They are enablers. Read more…

Starting The Agile Architect

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s an architect to do when the team goes Agile?

The Agile Architect is a project I’ve started with with Peter Wennerstein of Icon Innovations.   The inspiration came when the leaders on the project I’m working on decided we were going Agile and sent everyone to Scrum training.   The Vision is to give guidance and encouragement to all the architects out there who want to be a valuable part of Agile projects.  I’m putting together my experience as a leader in Software Development and long time Solutions and Enterprise Architect.  I’m teaming up with Pete because of his passion and talent for communicating with images, icons and multi-media.  I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this and hope it really helps you on your journey down the path of becoming an Agile Architect.

If you are interested in this topic, please leave a comment to encourage me in this projects.

Thanks!

Read more…