Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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 the effects...
  • Blog Post: "Correct" is a point of view

    My friends in the Agile community have succeeded in drilling a concept into my thick skull so deeply that the concept shows up in other things I do.  What is that concept: don't try to build the perfect app.  Build the least complicated app that will do the job.  Let the customer tell...
  • Blog Post: New eyes on an old favorite

    A couple of years ago, Phillippe Krutchen 'reinterpreted' the Tao Te Ching of Lao-Tsu for Software Architects ( link ). I saw it again recently and I have some new appreciation for the things I saw there. I most enjoyed this bit. (Note that the number is a reference to the original Tao tablet that...
  • Blog Post: JaBoWS is the Enemy of Enterprise SOA

    As a community, we have sat silently by as the pundits have sold products that fail to deliver on the promise of SOA. We have watched, many of us in horror, as the goal of changing behavior, and changing infrastructure, has fallen victim to "yet another tool" to solve the same problem. Don't get me wrong...
  • Blog Post: Inversion of control, part two

    I started an interesting thread when I weighed in on the use of IoC and the Dependency Injection pattern a few days back. Seems I wasn't sufficiently supportive of the concept of lightweight containers to please some of my readers. Should we, the blog community, encourage IT developers to adopt new...
  • Blog Post: What is the tradeoff with Inversion of Control (IoC)

    Recently, I caught wind of a discussion about use or overuse of Inversion of Control and Dependency Injection. One small team was quite religious about using it, while another was, let's say, a bit more circumspect. It made me think about where I would put IoC into the pantheon of silver bullets... ...
  • Blog Post: Fitting SOA+BPM into the software lifecycle

    I have a SOA view of the software development lifecycle. And, in that SOA view, BPM fits nicely. First, a comparison: Waterfall looks like this: Waterfall: Plan --> Envision --> Design --> Develop & Test --> Deploy Agile: Plan --> Sprint --> Sprint --> (occasionally) Deploy...
  • Blog Post: A Tale of Two Visions

    As I am called upon, more and more, to present a clear "vision" for how SOA will occur, I realize that folks are using the same words for two completely different requests. The trick is to provide both. The question may be phrased as "Where are we going with SOA?" or "What is our integration story...
  • Blog Post: Agility, Feedback, and Enterprise Architecture

    I blogged a few days back about agility in EA: Deliver Early, Deliver Often, Take Feedback, Iterate. I've said often that this concept is just as applicable in business as it is in technology. Enterprise Architecture is supposed to be the bridge between business and technology. Let's think about the...
  • Blog Post: We are going to miss... do we stretch out the Sprint?

    We had a really good discussion this afternoon between the 'agilists' in Microsoft on one of our discussion threads, and I wanted to share portions of the thread with the rest of the world. Note: many of these folks are not bloggers, so I edited down their last names a bit. It started with this...
  • Blog Post: Politecture

    Aaron Hanks gets credit for coining this term. Ever heard the old saw that says that software reflects the organizational structure of the team that writes it? That begs the question: which came first? The Architecture of the app (to which the organization fit itself) or the organization (to which...
  • Blog Post: How do I fix the broken stuff?

    No organization is perfect. We each can look around and say "stuff is broken here." So, how to fix things? First off, why fix things? After all, if I am a lowly programmer, it is not up to me to fix things, right? After all, they pay executives, don't they? Shouldn't an executive earn their salary...
  • Blog Post: What I like about Acropolis

    Just checking out the online resources on the new Orcas front-end development technology called Acropolis that builds MVC/MVP patterns into WPF software development. What I find promising: an Acropolis part can essentially consume a SOA service, allowing the composition of process and activity services...
  • Blog Post: Simple Lifecycle Agility Maturity Model

    How agile are you?  Can you measure your agility? My discussions over the past week, about who is and who isn't agile, started me wondering: if you want to improve your agility, you need to be able to measure it.  This idea is simple and repeatable.  It is used in most "continuous...
  • Blog Post: Mort and the Economics of Unmaintainable Code

    I've been called a lot of things in the past few days since I had a public disagreement with many folks over the definition of Mort. On the surface, it looks like I'm a pretty "out of touch" guy when it comes to the 'common vernacular.' Granted, but looks can be deceiving. There's more here. Please bear...
  • Blog Post: Tools for Mort

    For those of you not familiar with the term "Mort," it comes from a user profile used by the Devdiv team. This team has created imaginary "people" that represent key market segments. They have talents, and goals, and career paths. An the one that developers love to bash is poor Mort. I like Mort....
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