I am a little wary of the fact that “agile” appears to have become a morally loaded term. Despite some unhelpful dogma, the gradual shift towards developing software by iterative collaboration has been a universal “good thing”.
March 11th, 2020
The discipline of architecture is an important part of any efficient engineering organisation. It just needs to adapt its game from the process-orientated “Enterprise Architecture” of old to something more collaborative and relevant.
February 19th, 2020
Code coverage can be a useful technique for discovering untested parts of your code base, but it makes for a useless target.
September 9th, 2019
There’s more to adopting trunk-based development than deciding to shun long-lived branches. You need a confident development team, a loosely coupled code base and efficient build automation to make it stick.
August 12th, 2019
Agile process tends not to generate the kind of metrics that management teams feed on. Should this be a problem?
June 8th, 2019
Maturity models are a popular way of looking at development challenges. The problem is that they are an arbitrary and inflexible tool and they tend to encourage the wrong mindset.
March 23rd, 2019
The problem with SAFe is that you can implement it without writing a single unit test or automating a single build…”scaled agile” may be an oxymoron.
February 24th, 2019
Standardisation does have a place, but it should be reserved for infrastructure and collaboration rather than languages and tools.
August 30th, 2018
There is a growing sense of unease around how larger organisations have implemented agile. In particular, there is a tendency towards centralised control that can be at odds with the agile preference for individuals over process.
July 29th, 2018
It’s easy to get caught up in unrealistic notions that you can re-write a legacy system or gradually decompose it. There are other, more pragmatic approaches that can help to modernise architectures and enable new development.
February 16th, 2018
Agile teams still need to make architecture decisions, but in supporting them architects should seek “just enough” architecture over “big design up front” and practical solutions over large-scale abstract thinking.
January 27th, 2018
On the face of it, TOGAF describes a very different world to the agile preference for working software over documentation. That doesn’t mean that TOGAF is incompatible with agile, so long as you’re prepared to adapt its numerous building blocks.
November 18th, 2017
Technical debt may be a useful metaphor for describing how bad code design undermines productivity to non-technical audiences, but it does not help in understanding the longer term problems that affect code bases.
October 12th, 2017
The Scaled Agile Framework talks about an “architectural runway” as the main deliverable for agile architecture, yet it’s vague on the detail of what this looks like.
September 20th, 2017
Agile teams spend time modelling software whether they are prepared to admit it or not. Adopting a technique like Domain Driven Design can help to make this more efficient, particularly at scale.
April 3rd, 2017
Governance doesn’t have to be all about byzantine process and suffocating approval boards. It can be used to provide clear permission for teams to innovate.
January 28th, 2017
No architect will ever admit to being out of touch with software development. However, unless you are writing code then it’s difficult to avoid becoming an “ivory tower” or “PowerPoint” architect that can only discuss systems in the abstract.
September 20th, 2016
Three-lettered acronyms can be a useful tool for providing brevity, but they can also give rise to a coded language that contributes to a cold and impersonal development culture.
May 22nd, 2016
Technical excellence is one of those slightly nebulous phrases with many different interpretations. In an agile context this means removing constraints and it is more than just a team responsibility.
May 5th, 2016
How do you organise code ownership for services that do not align conveniently with team or organisational boundaries?
March 12th, 2014
Agile principals encourage self-organising teams to take ownership of solutions. This doesn’t leave architects out in the cold, but it does require a more engaged role based on influence rather than governance.
February 21st, 2014
Lean development’s “last responsible moment” should address uncertainty, not justify procrastination
Deferring decisions to the “last responsible moment” can help you to adapt to the inevitable uncertainty that comes with agile development. The risk is that it can become an excuse for uncertainty that undermines development velocity.
August 12th, 2013
Agile does not necessarily lend itself to management reporting. The few metrics it exposes are designed to support internal planning rather than external measurement. It can be tempting to re-purpose velocity as a measure of productivity, though this will only distort team planning without saying anything meaningful.