Lean Architecting - an ICES seminar with Scania
53 people from industry and academia took part in this ICES seminar at Scania Technical Centre on Tuesday 22 March, gathering together system and software architects from leading Swedish companies with the intention of providing a common platform for discussions on systems architecting in general and Lean Architecting in particular.
"Someone, somewhere knows what they are supposed to do"
Speaker Staffan Persson (Scania) pointed out that with the traditional development process (Input > Product developers > Software), the product
developers get the feeling that... "Someone, somewhere knows what they are supposed to do". He went on to say that sadly this usually does not reflect reality! To change this state, the developers need an enabling environment where they can share a common mental model of the product. Such a model drives innovation, according to Staffan, and provides guidance
on customer needs, business value and product identity.
ICES Chairman Tor Ericson (ÅF Consult AB) spoke about how new technologies and increasing systems complexity was redefining the traditional role of the systems architect. He noted that in the automotive
industry, 70-90% of all innovations is in embedded systems - and almost 40% of the product cost was for electronics.
Dietmar Fiedler (Ericsson) spoke about experiences in shifting to an Agile Software development process. This led to a natural discussion of the role of an architect in the Agile software development process. He proposed that architects are needed now more than ever, and must act as story tellers and spread knowledge to the cross functional teams they work with, so that teams can make enlightened decisions. Dietmar closed by saying that architects need to be well known and accepted in the organization, so having a good network is a must for them.
Seminar organiser Håkan Gustavsson described some of the results from his recent survey of 20 architects from various companies working with software intensive systems - only one of which had a defined process for architecting. The talk was concluded by observing that an architecture can enable value creation or ruin it. The right people with the right mindset can create value out of any process. Architecting mirrors the company's core values.
A longer summary by Sagar Behere (leading the ICES Thematic Group in Architecting) and pdf copies of the talks are available in the right hand column.