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Architecture Transformation Challenges

Architecture Transformation Challenges

In general, everybody just wants good things to happen, yet it it’s extremely hard to affect meaningful change, especially in large organizations. This is a lesson many conference attendees learn the hard way: They get “back home” to the mothership after attending a fantastic conference, and find themselves running into brick walls when they suggest the company adopts some of the cool new ideas they learned. In this talk we’ll take a the typical problems, and try to find some patterns on how to overcome them. Spoiler alert: It’s way more related to people and their interests instead of technology.

Stefan Tilkov

May 09, 2019
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  1. Architecture
    Transformation
    Challenges
    craft Budapest 2019
    Stefan Tilkov, @stilkov

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  2. Our story arc

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  3. We start with bright sunlight …

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  4. … darkness falls …

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  5. … before we end up in a medium-lit room

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  6. Conferences!

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  7. Great new technology

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  8. Entertaining presentations

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  9. Success stories

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  10. ... & Reality

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  11. Why is it so hard?

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  12. Professional Tech Skeptic

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  13. Legacy Lover

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  14. Vendor agent

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  15. Process protector

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  16. Professional tech skeptic:
    Intelligence

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  17. Legacy lover:
    Investments

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  18. Process protector:
    Experience

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  19. Vendor agent:
    Trust

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  20. Yaysayer:
    Cunning

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  21. Distractor:
    Conviction

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  22. Why do we want change?

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  23. Shiny new toys

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  24. Domain allergy

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  25. Cargo culting

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  26. Community status

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  27. CV-driven development

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  28. Good reasons

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  29. Improving the world

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  30. Improving our own lives

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  31. Improving our business

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  32. You return to work from a nice
    conference.

    Your ideas are met with resistance.

    There are three paths.

    They are labeled leave, give up, work.


    $>|

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  33. Option 1: Leave

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  34. Option 2: Give up

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  35. Option 3: Get to work (a.k.a. Machiavelli for beginners)

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  36. Effecting change

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  37. More than just technology

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  38. Recipes

    &
    Ingredients

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  39. Ingredients


    (appropriate) new technology (as desired)

    2 tablespoons of pragmatism

    1 cup of economics

    2 cups of politics




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  40. Transformation Patterns

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  41. Pattern: Organic transformation
    Description Approach Consequences
    Changes are introduced
    in small increments
    within existing limits,
    aiming for long-term
    transformation
    • Introduce new ideas
    (tech, method,
    process) into existing
    projects and
    development efforts in
    a bottom-up fashion
    • Avoid anything too
    disruptive
    • “Innovation coin” to
    limit number of
    changes
    • Slow, but possibly
    lasting change
    • Incorporates existing
    staff
    • Minimizes risk related
    to disruption
    • Risk of little effect in
    terms of architecture
    transformation

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  42. Pattern: Architecture playground
    Description Approach Consequences
    New architecture
    approach are tried out in
    isolation to gain
    experience and create
    convincing stories
    • Decouple technical
    innovation from
    existing projects
    • Apply new tech and
    architecture
    approaches to smaller
    sample projects
    • “Design thinking“ and
    similar methods
    • Minimize risk to
    existing efforts
    • Possibly little effect

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  43. Pattern: Know-how leapfrog
    Description Approach Consequences
    Architecture used to
    transformed “legacy
    engineers” to “ninjas”1
    • Existing Staff is
    trained, coached and
    allowed to work on
    projects to acquire
    state-of-the-art
    know-how
    • Intermediate steps are
    left out (e.g. from
    mainframe to cloud)
    • Staff may be
    extremely motivated
    or highly frustrated
    • High likelihood of
    employee churn
    (possibly desired)
    (1)please don’t ever use this unironically

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  44. Pattern: Benchmark exploit
    Description Approach Consequences
    Successful competitors/
    disruptors are used as
    role models to drive
    transformation
    • Follow architectural
    approaches that are
    used by (more)
    successful companies
    • Hire new staff with
    experience in tech
    (possibly former
    employees)
    • Possibly very
    convincing to business
    people
    • Risk of cargo-culting,
    i.e. mistaking
    correlation for
    causation

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  45. Pattern: Outsourced disruption
    Description Approach Consequences
    New business models are
    created using new
    architecture approaches
    in a completely
    separated organization
    • Create “innovation
    lab” or similar to drive
    business and tech
    innovation
    • Explicitly avoid any
    ties to existing rules
    and regulations
    • Risk of “lipstick on a
    pig” products
    • Risk of problems
    integrating new and
    old business models
    • Frustration for
    existing, “old-
    fashioned” staff

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  46. Pattern: Business value piggyback
    Description Approach Consequences
    Architectural innovation
    is introduced as part of a
    business-driven project
    that has its own, non-
    tech related justification
    • Cost of architectural
    transformation as
    necessary part of
    development effort
    • Justification due to
    business-tech drivers
    (e.g. Cloud/SaaS,
    mobile)
    • Do the right thing and
    don’t talk about it
    • Chance (and
    challenge) to prove
    architecture benefits
    • Risk of hiding or
    playing down actual
    costs

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  47. Pattern: Cool employee attractor
    Description Approach Consequences
    Modern architecture is
    used as a means to be
    an attractive employer
    • Pick “hot”
    technologies, i.e. those
    that interesting
    potential employees
    are interested in
    • Positive influence of
    new employees in
    terms of know-how,
    experience
    • Challenge of judging
    competence
    • Risk of frustrated
    developers

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  48. Pattern: Conway-maneuvering
    Description Approach Consequences
    Exploit that organization
    and process changes are
    driver for architecture
    and vice versa
    • Create organization
    and process with
    intended architecture
    in mind
    • Enforce architecture
    that leads to desired
    organization and
    process
    • Chance of most
    impactful
    transformation
    • High risk of frustration
    on all levels

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  49. Disrupt with care

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  50. Organize

    organizational
    change

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  51. Ensure positive
    business outcome

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  52. “Thank God we can invest in
    cool new technology and a
    sound architecture!”
    – No business stakeholder, ever

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  53. www.innoq.com
    innoQ Deutschland GmbH
    Krischerstr. 100
    40789 Monheim am Rhein
    Germany
    +49 2173 3366-0
    Ohlauer Str. 43
    10999 Berlin
    Germany
    +49 2173 3366-0
    Ludwigstr. 180E
    63067 Offenbach
    Germany
    +49 2173 3366-0
    Kreuzstr. 16
    80331 München
    Germany
    +49 2173 3366-0
    innoQ Schweiz GmbH
    Gewerbestr. 11
    CH-6330 Cham
    Switzerland
    +41 41 743 0116
    That’s all I have.

    Thank you!
    Stefan Tilkov
    [email protected]
    @stilkov
    +49 170 471 2625

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  54. www.innoq.com
    OFFICES
    Monheim
    Berlin
    Offenbach
    Munich
    Zurich
    FACTS
    ~125 employees
    Privately owned
    Vendor-independent
    SERVICES
    Strategy & technology consulting
    Digital business models
    Software architecture & development
    Digital platforms & infrastructures
    Knowledge transfer, coaching & trainings
    CLIENTS
    Finance
    Telecommunications
    Logistics
    E-commerce
    Fortune 500
    SMBs
    Startups

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  55. Photo credit
    • JD Hancock, http://photos.jdhancock.com
    • Zabou, http://www.zabou.me
    • Pexels, https://www.pexels.com
    • Pxhere, https://pxhere.com/en/photo/3482
    • UnSplash, https://unsplash.com/
    • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bright-
    sun.jpg (by user Anuragrana18)

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