Does Agile Architecture Equal Agile Plus Architecture?

Even though it’s difficult to tell, the name of this blog is The Agile Architecture Revolution, which is coincidentally the name of my new book, coming out next month. However, I’m not the first — or only — person to coin the term “Agile Architecture.” There is a growing buzz in the blogosphere that Agile Architecture is combining Agile software methodologies with software architecture best practices. So, is that what Agile Architecture is all about

Perhaps, but that’s not how I’m using the term. In my book I focus on Enterprise Architecture (EA), and how we need to reinvent the practice of EA to achieve business agility in the enterprise. Software plays an important role, but Agile Architecture isn’t really about software. It’s about the people in the organization.

Agile methodologies like Scrum and Extreme Programming also focus on people, as the Agile Manifesto essentially calls for a more human-focused software development approach. But there’s no arguing that the Agile Manifesto is about building software. And regardless of how agile your methodology is for building your software, that doesn’t mean the software you end up with will actually make your organization more agile.

And there’s the rub: if what you mean by “Agile Architecture” is software architecture compatible with Agile development methodologies, then you’ll likely end up with higher quality software, but it won’t be any better able to support the organization’s agility requirements than any other software. For that you need a new architecture paradigm — hence the third word of my title: revolution.

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