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Backbone and edge - architecting the balance between continuity and change
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Backbone and edge - architecting the balance between continuity and change


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Presentation at IASA 2013, April 2013

Presentation at IASA 2013, April 2013

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  • 1. Backbone and edgearchitecting the balancebetween continuity and changeTom Graves, Tetradian ConsultingIASA Architecture Summit, London, April 2013
  • 2. Hi.I’m Tom.(That’s all of the PR stuff out of the way...)
  • 3. Governance.(Okay, it’s not a popular word...but we do have to face it,otherwise nothing works...)
  • 4. Waterfall?or Agile?or what?(the only thing that’s certain is thatone-size-doesn’t-fit-all...)
  • 5. A practical answer:All of them, together(Waterfall, Agile and Mixed)by using an architecture-pattern calledbackbone and edge...
  • 6. CC-BY GardenOfEaden…agility needs a backbone!
  • 7. Practice-stuffPractice-questions look like this slide• work in pairs, if possible• work fast – max. 1minute per question• record as you go, with notes or sketchesGet pen-and-paper or tablet ready now…(There are ~12 practical questions in this session)
  • 8. Design and governance#1
  • 9. Assertion:Everything in the enterpriseis connected witheverything else.(If so, we can start anywhere.)
  • 10. Practice-questionWhat’s your problem?Start anywhere:Pick a practical challenge from yourcurrent context to work with here.
  • 11. Trade-offs anduncertainties#2
  • 12. Too many trade-offs?stability adaptabilitycontinuity(exploitation)change(innovation)sameness(economy-of-scale)uniqueness(market-of-one)‘control’ ‘anarchy’?Waterfall Agileversusversusversusversusversus
  • 13. Practice-questionWhat trade-offs do you face?Summarise some examples for yourcurrent context.
  • 14. Design for uncertaintyCC-BY Todd Hudson via Flickr…requisite-variety
  • 15. Design for uncertainty© AviationExplorer…requisite-inefficiency
  • 16. Design for uncertainty…requisite-fuzziness
  • 17. Practice-questionsWhat are the uncertainties?How do you work with this?Summarise the requisite-variety, variety-weather, requisite-inefficiency, requisite-fuzziness and suchlike in the context.
  • 18. Everything-as-a-service#3
  • 19. Assertion:Everything in the enterpriseis or represents a service.(If so, we can describe everythingin the same consistent way.)
  • 20. A tension exists between what is, and what we want.The vision describes the desired-ends for action;values guide action, describing how success would feel.Why anything happens
  • 21. A service represents a means toward an end – ultimately,the desired-ends of the enterprise-vision.The nature of service
  • 22. ProductCC-BY Kiran Kodoru via FlickrProduct is static……a kind of ‘proto-service’
  • 23. ServiceCC-BY Igor Schwarzmann via FlickrServiceimpliesaction… …actionimpliesservice
  • 24. Services exchange value with each other, to help eachservice reach toward their respective vision and outcome.Relations between services
  • 25. Each service sits at an intersection of values (vertical)and exchanges of value (horizontal)Values and value
  • 26. Services serve.(That’s why they’re called ‘services’…)What they serve is a shared vision,via exchange of value.(And if we get that right,they can sometimes make money, too.)
  • 27. CC-BY AllBrazilian via WikimediaIt’s also always about people……‘service’ means thatsomeone’s needs are served
  • 28. Practice-questionsWhat is this service?Whom does it serve, and why?Summarise the context as a service– its inputs, actions and outputs,actors and stakeholders,values and value-exchanges,and its overarching ‘why’.
  • 29. Interactions during the main-transactions are preceded byset-up interactions (before), and typically followed by otherwrap-up interactions such as payment (after).We can describe ‘child-services’ to support each of these.value-add(self)customer-facingsupplier-facingIn more detail
  • 30. Services link together in chains or webs, asstructured and/or unstructured processes, to delivermore complex and versatile composite-services.Supply-chain or value-web
  • 31. Practice-questionsWhat are the interfacesbetween services?What is exchanged betweeneach pairing of services,or along chains of services?What Exchanges take place before,during and after each main-transaction?
  • 32. Backbone and edge#4
  • 33. “Let’s do a quick SCAN of this…”Making sense for design
  • 34. “Insanityis doingthe same thingand expectingdifferent results”(Albert Einstein)ORDER(rules do work here)Take control! Impose order!
  • 35. “Insanityis doingthe same thingand expectingdifferent results”(Albert Einstein)“Insanityis doingthe same thingand expectingthe same results”(not Albert Einstein)ORDER(rules do work here)UNORDER(rules don’t work here)Order and unorder
  • 36. A quest for certainty:analysis, algorithms,identicality, efficiency,business-rule engines,executable models,Six Sigma...SAMENESS(IT-systems do workwell here)UNIQUENESS(IT-systems don’t workwell here)Same and differentAn acceptance ofuncertainty: experiment,patterns, probabilities,‘design-thinking’,unstructured process...
  • 37. THEORYWhat we plan to do, in the expected conditionsWhat we actually do, in the actual conditionsPRACTICETheory and practice
  • 38. algorithm guidelinerule principleSensemaking creates clarity for actionMaking sense with SCAN
  • 39. Practice-questionsWhat do you need to be certainabout?What is always going to beuncertain or unique?(‘Messy’ – politics, management, wicked-problems, ‘should’ vs ‘is’, etc.)What will always be ‘messy’?
  • 40. ORDER(a sense of ‘the known’)UNORDER(a sense of ‘the unknown’)We need governance that can adapt to workwith the full spectrum.A spectrum of uncertainty
  • 41. One of the hardest partsof working with uncertaintyis to build the right balancebetween known and unknown- between backbone and edge.
  • 42. Backbone and edgeorder(rules do work here)unorder(rules don’t work here)fail-safe(high-dependency)safe-fail(low-dependency)analysis(knowable result)experiment(unknowable result)BACKBONE EDGEWaterfall(‘controlled’ change)Agile(iterative change)
  • 43. Backbone, domain and edgeorder unorderfail-safe(high-dependency)BACKBONEsafe-fail(low-dependency)EDGEplanactualWaterfall(‘controlled’ change)Agile(iterative change)Mixed(guided change)analysis(knowable result)DOMAINexperiment(unknowable result)
  • 44. A spectrum of services
  • 45. Choices:everything we place in the backboneis a constraint on agility;anything we omit from the backbonemay not be dependable.It’s not an easy trade-off…
  • 46. Vision and valuesare always part of the backbone:values as ‘shared-services’.
  • 47. A spectrum of servicesalso impliesa spectrum of governance:governance of governance itself.
  • 48. Practice-questionsWhich services fit more inbackbone, domain or edge?What governance to apply toeach: Waterfall, Agile, Mixed?If Mixed, how would the appropriate mixbe identified and governed?
  • 49. Viable services#5
  • 50. Use the Viable Services Model (direction, coordination,validation) to describe service-relationships to keep thisservice on track to purpose and in sync with the whole.Keeping on track
  • 51. These flows (of which only some types are monetary)are separate and distinct from the main value-flows.Investor and beneficiary
  • 52. Practice-questionsWhat are the interdependenciesfor this service?What is needed from otherservices for this to be viable?Identify what is needed from value-web,direction and investor/beneficiaries.
  • 53. More on the big-picture#6
  • 54. “We create an architecturefor an organisation,but about an enterprise.”“We create an architecturefor an organisation,but about an enterprise.”Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010Whose architecture?Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story.We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  • 55. “An organisation is bounded byrules, roles and responsibilities;an enterprise is bounded byvision, values and commitments.”“An organisation is bounded byrules, roles and responsibilities;an enterprise is bounded byvision, values and commitments.”Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian,2010What architecture?Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story.We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  • 56. If the organisation says it ‘is’ the enterprise,there’s no shared-story - and often, no story at all.Whose story?
  • 57. The minimum real enterprise is the supply-chain- a story of shared transactions.Whose story?
  • 58. The organisation and enterprise of the supply-chain takeplace within a broader organisation of the market.Whose story?
  • 59. The market itself exists within a context of ‘intangible’interactions with the broader shared-enterprise story.Whose story?
  • 60. “Customers do not appearin our processes……we appear in theirexperiences.”“Customers do not appearin our processes……we appear in theirexperiences.”A question of perspectiveWe must create the architecture around the shared-story- not solely around our organisation’s structures.Chris Potts, recrEAtion, Technics, 2010
  • 61. Every service has its own myriad of stakeholders.Whose story?
  • 62. value-flow(‘how’,‘with-what’)value-flow(‘how’,‘with-what’)These are distinct flows – don’t mix them up!values(‘why’)values(‘why’)moneymoneyValues, value-flow, money
  • 63. Always start from values,not money.
  • 64. If we focus on money,we lose track of value.If we focus on the ‘how’ of value,we lose track of the ‘why’ of values.Always start from the values.(Not the money.)
  • 65. Practice-questionsWho are the stakeholders forthis service?What are their respectiveneeds, priorities, drivers?Identify what is needed to balance therelations and priorities of all stakeholders.
  • 66. In sourcing via supply-chain, services are ‘outside’, andboundary-of-identity and boundary-of-control are same.Sourcing: supply-chain
  • 67. In insourcing, services are ‘inside’, and the boundary-of-identity and boundary-of-control are the same.Sourcing: insourcing
  • 68. In outsourcing, services are ‘inside’ boundary-of-identitybut ‘outside’ boundary-of-control.Sourcing: outsourcing
  • 69. Practice-questionsWho ‘owns’ each service?What is each respectiveboundary-of identity andboundary-of-control?If a service is outside the boundary-of-control, how is it managed and ‘controlled’?
  • 70. Architecting for change#7
  • 71. Everything changes…
  • 72. Practice-questionsHow does each service changeover time, and why?How do you manage migrationinto and out of the backbone?Identify governance needed to managethis, and governance of governance itself.
  • 73. Structure and storyAfterword
  • 74. Nice view of structure, but…
  • 75. …where are the people?
  • 76. Start with structure, or process...
  • 77. …but include the people-story!
  • 78. What did you discover in doing this?What will you do different on Monday morning?Questions and insights• Governance (Waterfall,Agile and Mixed)• Perspective (Inside-out and outside-in)• Design for uncertainty (Same and different)• Design for change (Backbone and edge)
  • 79. Thank you!
  • 80. Contact: Tom GravesCompany: Tetradian ConsultingEmail: tom@tetradian.comTwitter: @tetradian ( )Weblog: http://weblog.tetradian.comSlidedecks: and • The enterprise as story: the role of narrative in enterprise-architecture (2012)• Mapping the enterprise: modelling the enterprise asservices with the Enterprise Canvas (2010)• Everyday enterprise-architecture: sensemaking, strategy,structures and solutions (2010)• Doing enterprise-architecture: process and practice in thereal enterprise (2009)Further information: