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Architect as Anthropologist: Leveraging Cultural Knowledge to Foster Collaboration

May 2012 Presentation
Marcel Derosier

A presentation from the Architect Skills track at SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, St Petersburg, FL.


Software Engineering Institute


Anthropology provides a set of tools that can be applied to any social setting, including business and technology. Since architects often assume the role of leading discussions between their business and technology partners with different (sub)cultures, they need to understand those elements of culture that drive or impede cross-cultural collaboration.

In this presentation, I will discuss the elements of culture that the architect can observe in order to understand his business partners' culture(s) better, how to gain a better understanding of the culture through participant observation, and how to effectively leverage cultural knowledge to foster collaboration within and among groups.