Scaled Agile Architecture Governance Framework Development

How the transition of our client towards an agile organization was supported and safeguarded by means of a complementary governance framework for architectural decision making.

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Scaled Agile Architecture Governance Framework Development

Project Reference

Background

Our client, an internationl financial services provider, had initiated a transition towards an agile organization (Scaled Agile). In the course, this had raised the question of how fundamental architecture decisions should be dealt with in the future. On the one hand, there were concerns that larger degrees of team autonomy and self-organization might increase an already sizeable growth of technical debt. On the other hand, an upcoming large-scale transformation required a stable decision framework and clear directions.

Goals

Our assignment was to develop a governance framework for architectural decision making complementing the targeted agile organization model. The framework was to support agile operations and working in autonomous teams while, at the same time, to ensure that no important decisions were taken to the disadvantage of the overall enterprise and technical debt was managed appropriately.

Approach and Deliverables

Starting from the planned target organization model and using different agile frameworks like SAFe®, O-AA® and the Spotify model as an input, a tailored governance model was developed for the client. The key principle of the concept was to maintain a high level of congruence between the future team structure on the one hand and the main building blocks of the long-term target architecture on the other (thereby adressing Conway's Law). The authority for domain-specific decisions was delegated to the team-level, accordingly. Cross-domain decisions and the corresponding communication processes were instead assigned to an overarching Community of Practice (CoP) for architects. The framework was by intention documented in a lighweight fashion only and comprised fundamental principles, role descriptions as well as simple interaction diagrams for typical decision situations.

Outcomes

The result of our engagement was an easy-to-understand governance framework for architecture decisions supporting the attained agile way of working while at the same time making clear provisions for sustainable architecture decisions aligned with corporate strategy and objectives. The framework is currently validated within a pilot and shall be implemented hereafter.

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Project Name
Agile Architecture Governance Model

Industry
Financial Services

Role
Management Consultant EA

Period
2020 

Contact

Dr. Christian Schmidt
Managing Partner

+49 69 71 04 56 463
Get in touch by email

Project References

As leading experts for Enterprise Architecture we have been serving our clients for many years in various architecture matters. In the following, we provide detailed insight into selected engagements. Further information on our project activities can be found in our project history.