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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Everything you’ve read about IT Project Failure is wrong

I did a scan around the web to figure out what many of the leading thinkers were saying about IT project failure and the root causes.  Numbers varied between 20% and 80% of projects failing to deliver on their business case.  The root cause analysis that follows from these failure numbers spends a lot of…

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Positioning an Enterprise Architect for Success

As I found in our Enterprise Architecture team in Microsoft, each time an Enterprise Architect is assigned to a specific area of the business, each one has a unique “engagement” with their stakeholders.  In very large organizations (like mine), there may be many different IT units as well as many different business units, all involved…

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Inserting Architectural Governance into the IT Program Funding Cycle

People do what you pay them to do.  That much is clear.  In most businesses, if you pay (reward, incentive) your employees for performing a particular task, then the task will be performed.  Also in most businesses, people are busy, so if you don’t pay them to perform a particular task, it largely won’t be…

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It has value… but do you need it?

Recently, Chris Potts threw this nugget out on Twitter: chrisdpotts Instead of ‘demand-managing’ to fit an arbitrary IT budget, challenge whether your strategy needs the value an investment is promising What a terrific comment and one that really hits home with me.  As we look to create “alignment” by showing “traceability” in Enterprise Architecture, the…

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How the Program Management Office Views Enterprise Architecture…

There’s an interesting analysis available through the PMO Executive Board on “Project Interdependencies.”  In the problem statement, the author correctly observes: As the volume and size of projects grow, the old problem of managing project and program interdependencies is becoming more acute: three quarters of PMOs consider “managing interdependencies” to be one of their most…

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Modeling User Experience Scenarios

I’m working on modeling some requirements for a document management system.  I’m a big fan of using models to represent every element, from goals and strategies through to business processes.  From there, I model use cases and requirements and on down to system components that fulfill those requirements.  Just call me a traceability hound. I…

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Should some requirements be called out as “architectural” requirements?

Some methodologies of software architecture, including EWITA, attempt to describe architectural processes in a manner that is quite separate from the development of software.  Is that valid? To whit, the first step in the EWITA process is described as “architectural requirements.” Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any definition, on that site, about what criteria…

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Make IT appear as simple as possible, but not simpler

Sometimes I hear a complaint from an IT architect who wants to have direct conversations with “the business” or “the customer” but, for some reason (usually bureaucratic), they cannot.  There is a team of analysts or project managers that they are supposed to talk to.  The original objective of having “layers” of people is to…

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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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