Having  hands-on EA capability is critical for EA success

By Steve Force

Having hands-on Enterprise Architecture capability in ones organization should not come as a surprise to EA practitioners.  According to Kevin Hickey, as published in the Architecture & Governance Magazine (September 6, 2019) “The Changing Role of the EA in an Increasingly Agile World, he writes:

“You are an Enterprise Architect in an organization learning agile practices, and you are feeling a bit lost. You have worked hard to get where you are. You probably wrote most of the critical system software keeping your enterprise running. You helped design the architecture. You know some of it is bit fragile, but with too few resources and too little time, compromises have to be made. In fact, your own ability to keep up with the latest trends have suffered because only you know how to keep things working. To help manage time, you have implemented universal standards and tried to funnel requests to architecture review boards or other planned meetings. Developers complain about all of the process, but you are just trying to keep control over the chaos that would certainly take over without it.

In an agile organization, good architecture is just as important as in a traditional enterprise. The role of the architect, however, is very different. The development teams have the freedom to make more impactful decisions, but also the responsibility to keep everything running. Heavyweight processes and centralized decision-making interfere with the short feedback loops required to make agile development successful. You have to adapt to this new environment by adjusting how you ensure that the chaos is held back and enabling the teams to make good decisions”

“To be successful, you focus on three key areas:

  1. Know the code
  2. Make the architecture visible to everyone
  3. Build bridges between teams”

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