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The Six Principles of Agile Architecture | David Tzemach

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

The software industry has become increasingly Agile-oriented. This transition requires the practical implementation of Agile practices and a change in the mindset of everyone in the organization. Here are some helpful principles for introducing Agile into your organization.

Principle 1: Keep It as Simple as Possible

Agile software development focuses on simplicity, a significant factor as the project or system complexity increases. The only way for Agile teams to successfully manage important, complex architecture is to ensure they keep things as simple as possible. How is this done?

  • Creating the simplest design that can work and add value to the customer.

  • By removing from the design unnecessary dependencies that could increase complexity.

  • By uncovering hidden requirements that could affect the software design.

“Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains” - Steve Jobs

Principle 2: If You Build It, You Test It

Testing a system involves many validation and verification (V&V) activities, which help ensure that the system meets its functional, performance and user experience requirements. Teams must design a testing infrastructure to test their products efficiently.

Software quality is determined by the quality of the requirements, coding and especially testing. If you cannot test the software, you cannot assume it will work in customer environments. Now that system architectures are more complex than before; the system must be tested thoroughly.

Principle 3: Make Sure You Have the Right People in Your Team

Agile teams are self-organized by definition, so it makes good economic and technical sense to have team members who have the knowledge, experience, and skills to work together to achieve a greater goal and contribute to the overall project.

Principle 4: Collaboration Is the Key to Success

You can’t succeed in any development project without efficient communication and collaboration within a team and between stakeholders (such as managers and customers) who are part of the project.

Principle 5: The Same Team Should Design and Implement The System

This principle is driven by principle 11 of the Agile Manifesto itself: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” This principle is essential in an actual project where Agile teams deliver software in a narrow time frame (two to four weeks); they must have the flexibility to make design decisions that directly affect their ability to deliver.

Principle 6: Continuous Improvement of The Process

In an Agile working environment, continuous improvement is not just a slogan but a way of life. The motivation is obvious as improvement per sprint assists the team in enhancing their work environment increases the quality of their deliverables. It allows them to meet the complexity involved in enterprise-class architecture.


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