Overview

Traditional Enterprise Architecture is being challenged on a number of fronts:

•How does EA govern in today’s development of open environments and open-source components?
•How does EA accommodate and add value to Agile Development Methods that de-emphasize comprehensive up-front plans and designs?
•How does EA remain relevant and demonstrate that it is really adding value to an organization?

Challenges

Traditional EA tends to value the “artifacts” produced over the usage of those artifacts by a development team. This causes a weak notion of the EA customer

– who is the customer of EA? – and a disconnect with the organization responsible for building systems that actually define the enterprise.

This results in the classic “shelf-ware” of EA information, and a sense of tension and missed opportunity. Often this gap is filled by trying to make EA an “audit” or “Compliance” organization – what happened here and why – rather than an organization connected to systems delivery and enhancing the value of those systems as they are built.

Organizations with Enterprise Architecture (EA) groups often find there is a great tension between EA and the Agile development teams. The EA approach can be seen by Agile as too plan-based and too top-down; the Agile approach can be seen as too tactical and too chaotic by EA.

Enterprise Architecture is complex because enterprises are complex. There is no doubt that “architecture” adds value in certain situations; the struggle is to how to institutionalize that success into an Enterprise Architecture program. Too often, EA acts as an ivory tower organization, espousing ideas from afar, and not connected to the real issues of systems development and their solutions. EA can be seen as an organization of “no”, only describing what can’t be done. These perceptions are often justified, and only exacerbated further by the use of Agile Development methods like SCRUM, which would seek a focused connection between the Development Team and the Business Owner that limits requirements from EA.

Our Approach

Logifusion provides this service on-site, with expert consultants that have years of experience in both Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Agile Methods, like SCRUM. This is real-world experience, spanning organizations that have emerging or established EA programs at various maturity levels. Our approach defines and executes an Agile EA program, which is directly connected to needs of building systems, not just planning systems or reviewing what has been built. This puts EA into a partner relationship with software development, and as such, EA becomes much more aware of, involved in, and relevant to the agile development practices.

Logifusion consultants have the breadth of experience in commercial and governmental EA organizations, spanning all EA functions. While there is incremental value in the support we can provide to a architectural roadmap or a systems integration strategy, the more significant value is in tuning the EA organization to deliver information in a way that can be integrated into the software development team processes. This involves computer-readable and testable specifications for models, interfaces, and integrations rather than paper diagrams. This involves building a governance process that uses the component management and artifact delivery technologies in use within the development this. This involves establishing a virtual Systems Integration Testing (SIT) environment, so the system-of-systems issues typically in realm of EA can be expressed, tested, and verified in the realm of continuous development.

EA does not have to give up governance; it can actually enhance it. EA does not have give up influence or relegate itself to a “post-facto audit function”; it can actually deliver value to the current system development projects. And these things can be achieved in a way that even the agilest agree adds value! This results in a “hands-on architecture” that is seen as relevant and high-value to business and technology organizations.

Measurable Outcomes

Examples of the deliverables provided in this service:

•Readiness assessment to guide the organizations adoption of Agile Enterprise Architecture.
•Agile EA training (formal or informal).
•Early adopter project selection and jump-start, by joining the architecture team and/or development team.
•Agile Methods (SCRUM) training (formal of informal).
•Establishing agile-friendly governance and integration testing infrastructure.