search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Agile Architecture: What the Agile Architect Can Learn From a Hurricane Meteorologist

May 2011 Presentation
Eric Richardson

This presentation from SATURN 2011 contrasts Agile architecture and meteorology to find a way to define and update architecture plans.


Software Engineering Institute



There are compelling analogies to be drawn between an architect in an Agile environment (AA) and a hurricane meteorologist (HM). This paper draws on these analogies to provide guidance for developing and maintaining an Agile architecture. Like HMs, who produce forecasts of various types, AAs produce a variety of architectural documents. HMs use many different kinds of data sources as inputs to forecasting, and AAs also need to gather diverse data types and employ different techniques to acquire them. Unlike the HM, who has well-established meteorological practices for preparing and scheduling forecasts, the AA has far fewer standard practices to follow, since Agile practices can differ drastically from those of traditional architecture. Still, this paper will cover several reliable methods for defining an Agile architecture plan and deciding on a schedule for its preparation and update. The approach presented will help the AA establish a successful long-term program. 

This presentation was given at SATURN 2011 in Burlingame, CA.