EA and Agile – Not Mutually Exclusive After All!

By The Open Group

Every organization needs to be Agile in order to handle all kind of forces and developments inside and outside the organization. Equally, organizations also need the structure and overarching view of an organization that is provided by Enterprise Architecture. and in particular, The TOGAF® standard, a standard of The Open Group. Both Lean and EA can make organizations more Agile, but work from a different, complementary perspective. By synergizing both EA and Lean knowledge, techniques, and people, many organizations are exploiting the strengths of both approaches.

At The Open Group, we have been following the evolution of agile and ,in particular, what it really means in the context of Enterprise Architecture. Here, we present a series of webinars that explore how Lean and EA approaches can successfully be used to complement one another and thereby strengthen a business overall.

1) Agile and Enterprise Architecture: Opposites Attract!

Agile methods have become the norm in software development. But true business agility requires more than having a bunch of agile teams. Moreover, if you only focus on the agility of your development processes, you might miss the forest for the trees: why do you want to be agile as an enterprise, and what does that require?

In smaller organizations, a few agile/DevOps teams can coordinate change amongst themselves, and the lines to management are short enough that strategic direction can be conveyed to teams directly. In large organizations, however, there may be hundreds of agile teams, each working on a part of the big “enterprise machine”, and more coordination is needed. If you have agile teams building agile silos that disregard their environment, you will still not have an adaptive and flexible end result. In addition, future change may become even more difficult, which is why good architecture is essential.

And there is more to an enterprise than software. This is where the “big picture” view offered by Enterprise Architecture adds value, as it also encompasses other stakeholders than software users and includes desired (and unwanted!) business outcomes, capabilities to be developed or improved, resources required, business processes, IT and physical infrastructure to be realized, and more.

This webinar addresses how agility in both methods and products is required to create true business agility, including several use-cases for the combination of Enterprise Architecture, agile, and DevOps and show how an agile approach such as the Scaled Agile Framework® can fruitfully be combined with an Enterprise Architecture framework like the TOGAF® standard.

https://publications.opengroup.org/d223

2) Becoming more Agile with Lean and Enterprise Architecture

While both Lean and EA have a different scope and approach, both methods can powerfully support each other. All with a shared goal in mind: improving organizational performance.

This should come as no surprise as many organizations perform parallel initiatives on Lean and EA. With a shared goal, it is logical to look for synergy. We concluded that many EA initiatives should be a bit more lean, and lean initiatives can grow their impact when guided by EA. In this webinar we explore the powerful collaboration of Lean and EA.

https://publications.opengroup.org/d147

3) Agile at Scale: Architecture in the Age of Complexity

There is no doubt that the agile trend is having a profound effect on software development practices, as well as on the organization of IT departments and beyond. In this webinar, hosted by The Open Group, Antoine Lonjon discusses how the EA discipline itself is being deeply challenged by this agile manifesto, and how it manifests a shift of focus from the traditional command and control organization of work, to the organization of purposes.

This webinar delves into the paradigm shift from a traditional EA approach to an Agile-Lean approach, and the shift from classical Enterprise Architecture to Digital Enterprise Architecture eco-system.

https://publications.opengroup.org/d231

Here we delve a little deeper into this topic, and also add in how adding The IT4ITTM Reference Architecture can further strengthen and complement these approaches.

4) Architecture in Agile Environments – Challenges and Solutions to Maximize Value

While it is a given that agile development has become the norm for software development, true business agility requires more than having scrum teams delivering working solutions. Moreover, if you only focus on the small-scale kind of agility provided by agile software development, you might miss the forest for the trees: why do you want to be agile as an enterprise, and what does that require?

An enterprise is more than just a bunch of local developments by small teams. The pieces of the puzzle that these teams work on must fit together somehow. And hopefully there is a vision of the future, aligned with organization strategy, a set of goals that the organization aims for. That is where Enterprise Architecture enters the stage.

Both approaches have their merits and shortcomings. EA without agile may lead to slow and bureaucratic organizations that does not respond fast enough to changes and trends, and only having a horde of scrum teams without some integrative, overarching approach may lead to a disconnected landscape consisting of agile silos. However, if we build on the strengths of both approaches, we can create enterprises that move as a united whole without having a central, command-and-control management that stifles local development and innovation.

In this webinar, we will show how EA processes such as the TOGAF® ADM can be connected to agile development processes. Moreover, we will describe how to use Enterprise Architecture as a “knowledge hub” to connect various disciplines involved in change in your organization. https://publications.opengroup.org/d133

5) IT4IT™ Applied: Case Studies for Agile IT4IT (Part One)

We live in a world where everyone just seems to want everything faster than they have ever done before. Though this is challenging, it is also driving different behaviors and delivery approaches. Who would have thought that when the IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, was launched in October 2015, there would already be demand for rapid implementation approaches and faster time to value?

Fortunately, HPE Software Services have already created an approach and have used it with several clients around the world, calling it Agile IT4IT.

This session:

  • Explains how an agile approach can be used in the context of the IT4T Reference Architecture and improve value realization
  • Highlights some real insight into the benefits and challenges that this approach has demonstrated, including challenges related to areas such as:
    • Agile as a concept
    • People and cultural issues
    • Overall IT immaturity when it comes to things like operating models
    • The different challenges specific to different parts of the world and the readiness to utilize a single reference architecture for running the business of IT
  • Gives the audience practical advice on how to determine if they are ready for such a focused value-based approach to using the IT4IT standard

https://publications.opengroup.org/d179

6) IT4IT™ Applied: Case Studies for Agile IT4IT (Part Two)

We live in a world where everyone just seems to want everything faster than they have ever done before. Though this is challenging, it is also driving different behaviors and delivery approaches. In “Case Studies for Agile IT4IT™ Part One” (Ref. D175) Joshua discussed an approach he took with a few customers that is aimed at delivering sustainable results with the IT4IT Reference Architecture fast.

The prerequisite for this approach is the adoption of both the approach and the deliverables. Managing stakeholders to embrace change and adopt outcomes is therefore one of the most critical components

This session highlights some real insight into the benefits and challenges of a Management of Organizational Change (MOC) approach as part of Agile IT4IT, including;

  • MOC as a concept within Agile IT4IT
  • The cultural, people, and adoption issues and how you can detect and mitigate them
  • Give the audience practical advise on how to apply MOC for Agile IT4IT

https://publications.opengroup.org/d175

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