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Incremental Software Architecture: A Method for Saving Failing IT Implementations


Author: Michael Bell

Publisher: Wiley


Publish Date: February 1, 2016

ISBN-10: 111911764X

Pages: 272

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Technical books rarely begin with conclusions. But the impetus for this book is so strong that it must be revealed at the onset. So, with no time to spare, here is the bottom line: IT and business organizations, in their current incarnations, must be eliminated. Replacing them with regional,1 nimble, and smaller management and technical groups, called Micro-Organizations in this book, will be of immense benefit to the product and software development community.

Mere replacement is not enough, however. Merging a Micro-IT organization with its Micro-Business organization counterpart could diminish the constant battle for alignment efforts and improve firm-wide communication. Moreover, unifying smaller business and IT groups to provide rapid enterprise solutions could reduce the long-running frictions between the two, and create a more productive work environment.

This vision accentuates the need to break down the traditional enterprise centralized management into smaller decentralized organizations to boost efficiency and speed up decision-making. Consequently, regional, small-scale, and agile Micro Organizations would seize governance and best practices responsibilities to deliver practical and superior systems.

As a result, joint business and IT teams would operate autonomously to deliver and integrate products on time and on budget. Rather than reporting to enterprise executives, teams would report to regional management, which understands the distinct culture and requirements of local business operations.2

Such a shift in organizational thinking would eliminate the difficulties of trying to conserve a centralized management structure that is slow to respond to critical business events. A lightweight Micro-Organization would then become proactive, reducing the staggering cost of enterprise policing and governance. Enterprise-wide technology standardization, therefore, would be the practice of the past. And enterprise-wide architecture best practices and standards would cease to exist.

This does not imply that enterprise-wide architecture groups would vanish, too. The charter of such a design organization would shift to a more tangible one. For that reason, architects should focus on providing certified architecture blueprints guaranteed to work in a production environment.

As you progress through the book, keep the Micro-Organizations idea in mind. And if time allows, imagine a workplace that accepts nothing less than devoting all its precious energy to producing high-quality and practical products.

For now, let us focus on chief thrust of this book: presenting a new approach to enterprise software design, development, and integration—Incremental Software Architecture.

The new method unveiled in the chapters that follow is suited for all enterprises, regardless of their structure and organization. Pursuing the incremental software architecture approach also may drive organizations to break down their convoluted structures into agile Micro-Organizations, accelerating time to market.

In the meantime, though, there is a compelling reason to understand what incremental software architecture is, and how it can be employed to ward off the deployment of failing systems to production environments. This new approach could also be pursued to save underperforming systems and improve enterprise integration of applications, middleware, and network infrastructure. Now, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Let’s roll up our sleeves and move on.

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