4 months, 8 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 442

A new month brings a new appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 442, features Tom’s excellent essay on capability teams (highly recommended!), followed by a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Systems of Social Systems and the Software Systems They Create”. Kim Pries bats cleanup […]

7 months, 8 days ago

Systems of Social Systems and the Software Systems They Create

I’ve mentioned before that the idea of looking at organizations as systems is one that I’ve been focusing on for quite a while now. From a top-down perspective, this makes sense – an organization is a system that works better when it’s component parts (both machine and human) intentionally work together. It also works from […]

1 year, 9 months ago

The Seductive Myth of Greenfield Development

Greger Wikstrand‘s tweet from earlier this week packed a wealth of inspiration into one image: The second statement particularly resonated with me: “The present is built on the past.” How often do we, or those around us, long for a chance to do things “from scratch”. The idea being, without the constraints of “legacy” code, […]

3 years, 2 months ago

Avoiding a Leaky Scope Bucket

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole. – children’s song, Bergliederbüchlein (c 1700) In my prior article, I introduced the concept of a scope bucket to explain the concept of project scope to your stakeholders.  In this article, I continue the theme with some […]

3 years, 4 months ago

A Bucket of Scope

An architect relies on a clear understanding of scope.  In prior articles we have discussed the business context diagram, a great tool for establishing solution scope.  We also provided a technique for setting expectations regarding the scope of architecture activities.  In this article, I intend to expand on the importance of understanding (or establishing, if […]

3 years, 5 months ago

Identify Indirect Stakeholders with System Context Diagrams

A Systems Flow consultant has skills that tend to fall in the triangle of technical, business and organizational excellence. One common and repetitive case of project dysfunction where this overlap brings real benefits is that of the “Operational Business Stakeholders Missing from Business Requirements.” Here’s how it usually goes: Architect is engaged to design project’s solution architecture […]

4 years, 7 months ago

The Art of Accepting Feedback

As practicing solution and enterprise architects we regularly present our work to our stakeholders for feedback. Those stakeholders range from mentors to peers to project teams to executive sponsors. In any and all of those situations, it is important to be able to accept feedback. In some cases the feedback will have been solicited by […]

4 years, 11 months ago

Pre-Requirement Estimation for IT Projects

Objectives and requirements – they are what makes the project world go ’round. Changing a business’ operations for the better requires one to decide what are the objective of the change, and what are the requirements a change must meet to satisfy the objective. Implementing the change usually starts with someone needing to know what […]