Agile Architecting: Hot Topic at SATURN 2011

Over the past 10 years, Agile software development has become increasingly influential. Once applied predominantly to IT-based applications developed by small co-located teams, Agile practices are now being implemented on large multi-team projects, across distributed-development environments, and on embedded safety-critical products.

As Agile projects grow in scope, breadth, and size, however, challenges emerge as practitioners wrestle with the need to scale up Agile practices. Communication between distributed teams is one such challenge. Coordinating multiple backlogs or managing a single backlog that feeds multiple teams is another.

Among the challenges associated with Agile scale-up, architecture is prominent and highlights the need for Agile teams to balance (in Jim Highsmith’s terms) “adaptation” and “anticipation.” The ability to be adaptive and to embrace change is the raison d’etre of Agile development. And yet without sufficient anticipation of future needs and an architecture designed to accommodate those needs, Agile teams can find themselves weighed down by costly, non-value-added refactoring. Caught between the Scylla of rework and the Charybdis of unnecessary architectural complexity, what is an Agile team to do?

At SATURN 2011, we have invited leading practitioners and industry experts to discuss their ideas and experiences on synthesizing Agile and architecture across a wide range of domains, perspectives, and companies. Highlights include the following:

Keynotes and Featured Speakers

Practitioner Reports


Ultimate Agility: Let Your Users Do Your Work!, Joseph Yoder, The Refractory, Inc.; Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Wirfs-Brock Associates

Strategic Management of Technical Debt, Philippe Kruchten, University of British Columbia;  Nanette Brown, Robert Nord, Ipek Ozkaya, Software Engineering Institute

Agility is crucial in today’s ever-changing world, and architecture is critical to achieving and maintaining a competitive position that capitalizes on changing conditions while maintaining a continual flow of value to end users and stakeholders. Join the conversation and the community as SATURN explores the topic of architecture as a key enabler to agility at scale.

– Nanette Brown, SATURN 2011 conference chair, SEI


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