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Role of an architecture in a business agility (Part 2)

Updated: Feb 7

In the pursuit of true business agility, organizations often encounter a number of challenges that can hinder their progress. Here are three key issues that stand in the way of achieving this goal and some strategies for overcoming them.

Shared Understanding of Goals

The first challenge is ensuring that everyone involved has a shared understanding of the direction of the enterprise and can work together to achieve their goals. This becomes increasingly important the faster you want to change. In a slow-moving organization, there may be time for the “stragglers” to catch up and for the rest of the organization to compensate. However, when time is of the essence, misunderstandings about goals and direction can be costly.

To overcome this challenge, clear and frequent communication is key. Regular team meetings, updates, and open channels of communication can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction.

Understanding the Effects of Changes

The second challenge is understanding the side-effects of changes to avoid nasty surprises. All too often, mishaps occur when some system is changed or replaced because a connection to another system was not known or documented sufficiently. In a fast-changing and highly automated world, these kinds of failures and roll-backs, and the delays they cause, are even more undesirable.

To mitigate this risk, thorough documentation and impact analysis are crucial. Before making changes, take the time to fully understand the system and its dependencies. Use tools like architecture models to visualize these dependencies and predict the potential impact of changes.

Balancing Short and Long-term Changes

The third challenge is balancing short and long-term changes, and making considered decisions about them. A narrow focus on Agile software development instead of true business agility can be harmful. Yes, software can be changed more easily than physical infrastructure, but a major redesign necessitated by a lack of understanding of context and constraints is still costly and time-consuming.

To address this challenge, it's important to consider the broader context and long-term implications of changes. Don't rush into decisions without fully understanding their potential impact. Explore different options and consider their long-term viability before making a decision.

Graphical visualization serves as a powerful tool to convey ideas and concepts. Architecture models offer a visual representation of the system's structure, making it easier to understand and communicate complex ideas. They can be updated quickly to reflect changes, making them a valuable tool for managing change. Moreover, ensuring the consistency of models is a lot easier than with text, reducing the risk of inconsistencies and misunderstandings. Importantly, these models are not intended as big, up-front designs created by a small team of experts. Instead, they should be built and owned collectively by everyone involved in change in the enterprise. Different roles contribute their parts and can see how these are connected to the parts of others. This shared understanding greatly facilitates collaboration and communication within the team. This shared understanding, facilitated by the use of architecture models, greatly enhances the agility and speed of the enterprise. It allows for quick decision-making and adaptation to changes, which are key characteristics of any adaptive enterprise.

In conclusion, achieving true business agility is not without its challenges. However, with clear communication, thorough understanding of system dependencies, and careful decision-making, these challenges can be overcome.

The Open Group Library materials are used to prepare the post.



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