Expert Guidance to Achieve Enterprise-Level Agility & Speed

Gain expert intelligence and experience in all aspects of agile necessary to achieve enterprise agility in an era characterized by constant change. Cutter’s community of international experts provides new insight and research, published nearly daily, and virtual and live events that enable agility throughout the organization.

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The challenge of being open to innovation is in breaking out of familiar patterns. A lot of what we do is guided by patterns. These patterns help us in a stable context but get in the way in a dynamic or complex context and hinder innovation. The first step in dealing with suboptimal patterns is to be aware that they are hard to see.
In a recent webinar, Cutter Consortium Senior Consultant Barry M. O’Reilly introduced a new way to model systems in complex environments — residuality theory. In this Advisor, we share some questions asked at the end of the webinar about using residue as an alternative building block that enables software systems designers to consider the entire environment and its complex interdependencies without slowing down the design process, delivering benefits to both architecture and risk management practices.
I recently received an email from a colleague seeking advice by way of suggestions for his focus for 2021. In this Advisor, I share a glimpse into our correspondence as well as my thoughts on aligning value stream priorities.

As has been our tradition for the last several years, we’ve compiled the five most intriguing articles published by the Business Agility & Software Engineering Excellence practice for today’s Advisor. How did we come up with this list? We chose the articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members. Your questions and comments not only make it possible to create lists like this, they help focus Cutter’s Senior Consultants’ research on the areas that are most important to organizations like yours. So please keep your feedback coming.

The definition of “Agile architecture” is neither clear nor concrete. Instigated by hype, EA managers may rush to implement fashionable Agile approaches to the detriment of their organizations. Instead, they should strike a balance between up-front planning and agility — because no firms can plan their future in every detail, and not one single company can avoid planning altogether to stay perfectly Agile. As we explore in this Executive Update, EA managers should determine the “golden mean” between total planning and full agility that best meets the specific needs of their organizations.
The authors take a two-part approach to discussing the design of adaptive digital and data architectures. First, they propose a way to design solutions that actively identify and address key uncertainties and concerns so that the right kinds of EA artifacts will emerge to answer key questions about user desirability, technical feasibility, and financial viability for the right people. Second, they share patterns and techniques that can be used to design and build digital and data architectures with a high level of flexibility and adaptability that can better support the changes in priorities that successful digital transformation efforts need to be able to steer.
In this issue of Cutter Business Technology Journal, we explore how enabling successful digital transformations through data and digital architectures can facilitate the enablement of the value streams and customer journeys companies build to stay in touch with changing client expectations and user experiences, all while building out the organization’s digital backbone.
SAFe has emerged to provide the organizational context and hooks needed to support operating Agile at the level of an entire IT organization. Unfortunately, architecture has been left out of the conversation, leaving IT departments struggling to retain the benefits of architecture in Agile. But perhaps it is time to answer the question: SAFe is fine, but what about enterprise architecture? This Executive Update shows how to innovate on enterprise architecture, bringing it into the Agile model, using a technique called “wave alignment.”