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Agilizing the Architecture Department

April 2015 Presentation
Eltjo Poort (CGI)

This presentation reports experiences implementing Risk- and Cost-Driven Architecture (RCDA) at a major European transportation infrastructure organization.


Software Engineering Institute




The secret to making architecting agile is to change your view of the main deliverable. An agile software development team does not deliver a “big-bang system,” but a continuous stream of improvements to a system. In the same way, an agile architect does not deliver a “big up-front design,” but a continuous flow of architectural decisions, step by step gaining control of the uncertainties and risks surrounding complex IT solutions. This view of architecture is the basis of Risk- and Cost-Driven Architecture (RCDA), an approach that has been developed by CGI and has been proven to support solution architects globally in a lean and agile manner.

In this session, I will report our experiences implementing RCDA at a major European transportation infrastructure organization. We used RCDA’s principles and practices to help the organization’s architects reconnect with their colleagues who had “gone agile.” The experience shows how to transform an approval- and compliance-oriented architecture department into a collaborative team that helps projects create “just-enough architecture” in tight time frames and explain their priorities and choices to business stakeholders.