Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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Architects: Accelerators or Anchors to Organizational Agility?

  • June 2010
  • By Jim Highsmith (Cutter Consortium)
  • Jim Highsmith explores the relationship between software architecture, agility, adaptability, and flexibility in this SATURN 2010 keynote speech.
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.
  • Abstract

    A Business Week article proclaims, “There is no more Normal.” A recent book examines The Upside of Turbulence: Seizing Opportunity in an Uncertain World (by Donald Sull). In the throes of pervasive change, the traditional emphasis on “following the plan with minimal changes,” needs to be superseded by “adapting successfully to inevitable changes.” 

    If the new stress is on agility, adaptability, and flexibility, then what is the role of architects and architecture in this environment? What is agility and should your organization have more of it? Are architecture and agile development compatible? How can architects accelerate agility in organizations? 

    Jim’s talk from SATURN 2010 explores these questions through the lenses of business strategy, opportunity life cycles, how buildings learn, being agile and doing agile, spiders and starfish, the architecture of time, technical debt, Legos© and erector sets, and the four components of responsiveness.

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