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Can't Find Superheroes to Help You Out of a Crisis? How About Some Architecture and Lots of Superglue?

May 2016 Presentation
Adam Bar-Niv (Intel), Amir Shenhav (Intel)

This is the story of an organization that in crisis, struggling to meet project timelines while adhering to high quality, but unable to scale up as technical debt grew.


Software Engineering Institute




This is the story of an organization that found itself in the midst of a crisis, struggling to meet project timelines while adhering to a strict high-quality bar, but seemingly unable to scale up to a challenging roadmap and evolving market as the project's technical debt grew. Among the numerous task forces set up to handle the execution crisis, a software architecture team was formed, entrusted with creating a software vision befitting an organization that, regardless of the crisis, was required to grow its business into new market segments.

While facing several silo teams, each in turn facing a steady stream of new features to develop on top of a significant legacy codebase, the team of architects had to build trust with engineers as well as with managers, by understanding their pain points and providing value through pragmatic solutions. Eventually, more than just "architecting," the team aspired to serve as the organization's superglue, fostering collaboration across disciplines, projects, and teams.

In this talk, we will share with you our experience of building this software architecture team at one of Intel's R&D organizations during the last four years, helping an organization without well-established software architecture practices to get out of the crisis and start building its software to meet its growing business needs. We talk about our successful (and our less successful) experiences in establishing the architect’s role and share our vision and practices.