Insights into pragmatic application of Agile Architecture for newbies

Agile Architecture is still an evolving profession. While the software delivery industry does have its trail blazers and leaders in revolutionising the way agile architecture is practiced many organisations are supporting loyal and long standing staff to develop their traditional skills and discover new methods of agile software delivery. To kick start the growth for Architects and Designers I've been running a series of learning workshops that focus on developing the  thinking, behaviour, principles, and practices of Agile Architecture and Design.  My personal favourite time of these conversations is the investigation of different leaders and facilitating discussions in relevancy and pragmatic application for our teams. It's a favourite time because not only does it give the teams time to really understand the agile concepts, it gives them creative thinking space to evolve their own practices without slapsticking new names on to old roles. @ppossej recently provided us a great topic for discussion by Scott Whitmire - an article on "Just What is Architecture?" . I quite like this article because it doesn't just touch on what is architecture it also tackles the question of just what is ‘agile architecture’ with particular musings on the principles established in the Agile Manifesto and in Scaled Agile Framework.

Taking 10 minutes out of your day to read this article is well worth it. It also poses some great questions for investigation with your teams. For example; taking the side of Fielding who proposes that there are ‘multiple architectures’ or the traditional Iaasa Board definitions of that there is a single architecture.  Having a structured debate or conversation around the pragmatic application of these new theories will allow teams to better build fluid development practices and to ‘live agile daily’.


sawhitmire / March 21, 2014: A couple of companies with which I am connected are struggling to apply Agile techniques to enterprise-level systems, systems of systems, and the enterprise architecture in general. Dean Leffingwell’s (Leffingwell, 2007) work provides some guidance, but only to a point. Leffingwell’s work is not flawed, but reflects issues that are the result of deep-seated misconceptions about just what architecture is when discussing software-based systems. Technical architects are often accused of being overly focused on definitions of terms. While this is largely true, it is a response to situations such as this in which definitions are not clear and people talk past one another.

Do you know a  team that hasn't struggled with applying Agile Architecture principles or moving to Scaled Agile Architecture runway? I'd love to know how.