Architects & Scrum: 3. Architects add vision

09 Feb, 2011
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In my last post I stated that there is a lot of emphasis on the fact that architects have to help to get the scrum team to work better, faster en with more quality. By following the agile values the architect will help “strengthening the heartbeat” of the scrum teams. However the activities of architects should encompass more. In this blog  I will explain what this is and how to incorporate this in your way of working with scrum teams.

Architects add vision
Strengthening the heartbeat of Scrum teams is an overly limited view of the contribution that architects can make in an agile environment. They also help develop new design ideas, assist the organization in pursuing its strategy with the aid of IT, identify IT opportunities which could promote business value and assist in their implementation. Architects envision the future. In this way architects can also become catalysts for change. New IT developments can have a major impact on the business strategy and on the priorities for IT development.
This part of the work of the architect is often forgotten in organizations that are adopting Scrum. But is a very important part of the architects work. The following illustration shows the two primary aspects of the architects’ role. On one side they play a role in strengthening the heartbeat. On the other side, they play a role in envisioning the future.

As can be seen in the illustration, there are of course the necessary connections between the two parts of the job. The concept of “design ideas” is helping a lot to be able to connect the two worlds. In my next post I will go into more detail about the way the architects can connect both worlds and add more value to the organization.

Niklas Odding
Niklas has been working in the IT industry since 1994. With a business background his main focus has been process consulting & architecture. From this perspective he has become specialized in the way software can support de business processes of organizations. To get hands-on experiences, Niklas was involved in several BPM/ECM implementations as lead architect or project manager. The last years Niklas has been working as enterprise architect to be able to align the business strategy with the IT strategy. In this he noticed it was time for more pragmatic approaches towards architecture. By working for Xebia Niklas hopes he can help architects to find their new role in Agile environments. Niklas has received training in project management, consultancy , and process improvement, like Prince II, Consulting skill 2, Information Architecture, Business process Redesign, Insight in influence and Scrum. Before joining Xebia, Niklas worked for three other IT Service Providers and an Insurance company. He studied Business at the University of Twente. In 2004 he completed also his MBA study at the EuroMBA. He's fluent in Dutch & English, and speaks passable German & Romanian. He lives in Harderwijk, The Netherlands, with his wife, Madalina en four children.

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