Placing Architecture Properly into Scrum Processes

As I’m about to complete my share of a longer engagement on using Lean principles to improve the processes at an online services firm, it occurred to me that the efforts we undertook to properly embed Architecture practices into their Scrum process were novel.  I haven’t seen much written about how to do this in…

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Unraveling the Developer Bias in Agile Development Practices

There is a contradiction that shows up in many books and articles on agile software development.  .  And I’m going to rant a little on one of them: the “developer” bias in Agile software practices. Before I begin my rant, I’d like to tell you where it comes from.  I am an Enterprise Architect.  I…

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AGILE architecture vs. agile ARCHITECTURE

As an architect involved in an agile implementation (my current gig), you can imagine how interested I was to see that there’s a new book on Agile Architecture, and perhaps how disappointed I was to see that it focused on SOA and Cloud.  That’s not to put down SOA or the cloud.  I’m a huge…

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All Effective Enterprise Architects Are Agile

I explained to one of my clients recently that there is a perception of animosity between the Enterprise Architecture community and the Agile community.  Both sides make assumptions about the other, often assumptions that are simply unfair.  For example, many in the EA community think of “agile practices” as an opportunity to develop software without…

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On the road to a Business Architecture Manifesto

One very powerful metaphor that has reverberated throughout the technical community, in the past few years, was the Agile Manifesto.  Created by a group of folks who wanted to communicate the principles that drove their thinking, the Agile Manifesto has been a very useful tool for deciding if a particular practice is being done well. …

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A Modern Update to The Blind Men and The Elephant

My humble apologies to John Godfrey Saxe, whose poem I have modified to add a seventh man, and to make a point…   ‘twas seven men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d…

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Building less than you know you’ll need

In the past, I’ve been guilty of this sin: gold-plating.  Back when I was a solution architect, I would (often) think about the things that the business is going to need, but never asked for.  I would occasionally include elements in the design to support those needs, even though the business didn’t ask for them. …

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Architecture makes Agile Processes Scalable

As many of you may know, Microsoft has a vocal and thriving Agile Software Development community.  Recently, on our community forum, a question appeared about the ability of Agile development to “scale” to a large team.  In other words, if we can make agile development practices work in a dev group with hundreds of people,…

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Why Agile Development Requires Agile Architecture

The dark cloud of the economic downturn has produced a silver lining within Microsoft IT: an increased emphasis on Agile development techniques.  This does not mean that MS IT is new to using Agile.  Far from it.  Agile development practices have been used in various IT groups here for nearly a decade.  What is new…

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Software Reflects The Process That Creates It

Of all the ‘laws of software’ that I subscribe to, this one is one of the most fundamental, and unwavering.  I cannot find an exception to it, and years of experience reinforce it for me.  I can look at a chunk of source code, or an operations manual, or even a build script, and see…

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