An Agile Approach for Converting Enterprise Architectures

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  • 7/23/2019 An Agile Approach for Converting Enterprise Architectures


    An Agile Approach for Convering Enterise


    .. 1 .. 2 .Okke Emin BAL

  • 7/23/2019 An Agile Approach for Converting Enterprise Architectures


    critical tool for uniing IT and business sategy and as adriving business value om IT.

    In this paper, the operational denition of enterprisearchitecture is a concept which establishes the cooratesintegrated business processes and infoation tecnologies toachieve a coorates' mission trough optimal performance ofits core business processes within an ecient infoation

    tecnology (IT) enviroment.

    B. EA Conversion Projects

    Companies face the challenge of business processes and ITinasuctures change due to the driving forces ofglobalization, tecnology explosion, and rapid growth onorganizational sucte. As a result, they increasingly need toconsider and psue ndamental change - nsformation - tomaintain or gain competitive advantage [2]. Implementing andmanaging ndamental change for companies is paricularlychallenging due to a number of nstitutional factors, huge andcomplex business processes, bureaucratic procedures,

    hierarchical sctes and established organizational culture[2]. Consequently, companies have to star enterise

    architecture conversion (EAC) projects to implement thesendamental changes.

    C Conversion Methodologies

    There ae four main conversion methodologies that thecompanies resort to realize ndamental system changes [3][4]. They are named as direct cutover conversion (known as

    the big bang conversion), parallel conversion, phasedconversion and pilot conversion. These conversion

    metodooges many der om eac oter n te way tatthey realize the implementation. In the following sections, bigbang conversion and parallel conversion are compared. Therst one is the most widely used method by companies while

    converting EA and the second one constitutes the rationalebehind suggested approach: agile approach.

    1) Big Bang ConversionThe general tendency for EAC is the traditional "bigbang

    approach which depends on big bang conversion method. It isa commonly used tecnique for coorates to satis EACdemands. According to Eason [5] big bang is the adoption tpeof the instant changeover as the entre organization stops usng

    the old system and starts using the lly nctioning newsystem at the same time. That is why, this method is also called"direct cutover conversion. Everbody starts to use the newsystem at the same date and the old system will not be usedanymore om that moment on.

    The conversion needs ver crowded and complex projectteam and it consists of analyzing all system and businessprocesses, redesigning them, matching with new tecnologies,and developing new inastructure with business requrements[6].

    The tendency for coorates to use big bang conversion asEAC stems om two main reasons. Frst reason is that onedoesn't have to suggle with the difculties and illsucturedof legacy system. To implement best design to new enterisearchitecture independently without taking the old system into

    ISBN: 978-1-4673-5613-8013 IEEE

    consideration. Second reason is that there is no risk to thelegacy system during EAC. The fact that aining of the staff isonly needed for the new method not also for the changeover

    period and the cleaess of the changeover date for everonefavors big bang conversion for coorates.

    Nevertheless, big bang conversion is treated as the riskiestmethod in the literature [4] [6]. First of all, fall back'plans arehard to develop and become more impossible when the bigbang has taken place. There can also a need for catch up period(initial dip phenomenon) to deal with particula problems anddifculties. Furtheore, it is also hard to be supported byexecutives as the results ae ver late for new architecte toprove. It includes high scale of project implementation andadaptation risks. It is hard to become familiar with new systemfor the end users soon. As it is a ver comprehensive ansition,

    there might be system failure that affects business processes,service qualit and sales.

    2) Parallel ConversionTo minimize conversion risks met during the transitions,

    parallel conversion is an alteative method for transfeing

    between previous systems to target system in an organization.With coexistence methodology in data level, two systems canbe run simultaneously for some period of time. hen therequirements for the new system are met, the old system isshut down [4]. Although the process requires careful planingand control as well as a signicant investment in labor hours,it is favored as it minimizes risk compared to the otherconversion methodologies. Lee [6] also states his preferencefor parallel conversion as follows: "When the organizationdemands heavily on the old (legacy) system to be changed, the

    tradeoff between extra involved costs for a less risky parallelapproach, should be in favor of those extra costs.


    This study suggests simple, agile, business oriented andriskee solution for enterise architecte conversionsprojects. cites a Dynamic Markets survey of 800 ITmanagers, reporting that 62 percent of IT projects fail to meettheir schedules and 25 percent of IT projects get canceledbefore completion [7].

    The success of conversion project relies on the rightbalance of business and tecnology. According to Juan Porer[8] successl change management requres equal attention to

    these four components: process, tecnology, people andcoorate culte.

    Agile approach depends on parallel conversion method andit not only focus on tecnology and tecniques but also people.So, the approach should be business oriented tecnology whiledeveloping our new system. Agile approach works iterativelyand incrementally and targets at the whole picture whileexecuting conversion projects. It is a customerorientedapproach as it makes EA atctive for them. It includes highlevel of human interaction instead of virtual communicationduring the project to generate signicant performance. Ever

    business process and system artifact design in agile approachmust also be as simple as possible. Porer [8] states that


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    conversion manager should ensure that all stakeholders omthe top executives to end users are equipped to maximizecompanies' new solution. The motto of the approach is: statedin Ambler [9] as "Thik at enterise level but act locally.

    We can deduce om the above discussion, in agileapproach, EAC should stat with small core team. First task

    will be developing coexistence methodology between tosystems to gain parallel adoption. By this way two systems isable to live in coexistence and the whole system is able to

    redesign smaller business projects step by step. Withdeveloping coexistence system in the data level system can runpaallel and projects can be agile now. Federated authorizeddepartment should be created for managing all conversion

    projects. This deparment should include two tpes of team.One of them is core team which has determined numbers ofexperts and another one is conversion team which can beincreased or decreased according to scale of the ongongprojects. Finished steps affects the other small projects in goodway.

    Defne Cuent EA

    Defne Taget


    Ceate Conversin Raap Poject Plan

    Make EA Poject Estima




    Convesion Pject


    a Fdaed



    Frm re Team

    Defne Pototye of Core Module

    pleent d Prve hug Pttpe

    Poduce d Run Coe Module

    Run e Mdule wih ld Syste Siulaneously

    b oexistence Mehodolo



    Poject into all Managable

    Aile Po



    Fom Convesion Team For Each Poect

    pleent Each Sall Poject

    Adopt Smal Pojects wih Palel Convesio



    Cvesi Pject

    Fig. 1. Chronological order for EAC projects

    ISBN: 978-1-4673-5613-8013 IEEE

    The schema above can be dened as the projectmanagement steps in a conological order for accomplishngEAC projects which are huge, complicated and risk within theagile point of view. The ow like nate of the schema reveals

    the ease of agile approach in any conversion projects. As canbe seen, the agile approach stats with proof of concept projectsand progress with small divided projects thaks to thecoexistence methodology. Compared to other rival approaches,

    there is a great emphasis on customer satisfaction due to itscustomer oriented nature which can be easily seen in therelevant steps. Overall, this system is also preferable due to itsconibution to the balance between tecnology and businessand the choice of paper title "An Agile Approach forConverting Enterise Architectures is based on this logic.

    A. Roadmap for EAC

    Roadmap is a plan of master project to suarize thecompany's current situation and it contains chosen tecnology,project management approach, and new architecture design andimplementation steps. t also contains new business and new

    tecnology architecture. It is executed as small IT projects to

    implement the whole scope.A manager should choose one of the most common EAF as

    a tool to simpli conversion project. EAC needs cuentbusiness and tecnology diagram and goal diagram to deneroadmap. Managers should draw current EAF and target EAFbefore begining conversion projects. EAF also providesorganizations with the abilit to understand and analyze

    weaknesses or inconsistencies to be identied and addressed.As a result, EAF help company to see big picture whiledening roadmap for EAC.

    While developing the roadmap, the manager should bringthe core business and tecnology implementation forward andprioritize it in rst and most important small project. It is a

    proof of concept project. This paper offers the followingroadmap for EAC;

    Dening Current Architecture

    Determining EAC Goals

    Choosing Tecnology

    Implementing Coexistence Model

    Using Agile Approach

    New Architecture Design

    Business Processes Design

    System Architecture Design

    Prototping and Proving

    User Interface Design

    B. EACGoals

    EAC goals may differ accordng to company's current EAsituation. As a result, a company's current tecnology andbusiness inasucture should be well deed. As enterpriselevel companies mostly have complex and high uncertainenviroment. That means, the rules and behaviors of theorganization determines the target EA which in tu determinesEAC goals. Because of the company's vision for 5 years, targetprojection must be considered while determining EAC goals.


  • 7/23/2019 An Agile Approach for Converting Enterprise Architectures


    Manager should mind the numbers of target customers, targetservice/production process and taget service point. One more

    point that needs to be considered for deteining EAC's goal isthe company's target service type that may be 7/24 or inbusiness hours. Target service tpe affects new architecteintensely.

    Aer stating the company's based goals, the common bestpractice specications of EA should be added to the goals.Suggested specications are as follows:

    Well deed and standardized business processes asnegotiated

    Central system structure includes soware andhardware

    Highperformance communication technologybetween application layers

    Powerl information engine which can use eithersystem alers and business alerts

    Smooth and fast application deployment

    Data integrity om database to user interface level

    Enough level security not anymore.

    Open to new technology adaptation

    Ability to other application integration easily

    Inteational standardization

    High availability and sustainability

    Usability and high satisfaction on User Interfaces

    Customer oriented approach on every EA process

    Agile soware development life cycle (SDLC)

    Project Management

    1) Project Management Approach

    While managing EAC projects, companies need amanagement approach to accomplish project successlly.There are two known approaches while managing projects; oneof them is traditional approach the other one is agile project

    management approach. Traditional approach is published byProject Management Institute (PMI) underlying the PMBOK(Project Management Body of nowledge) in 2009 [10]. Thesecond one uses agile practices om Agile Manifesto [11].

    While planing all EAC project as a program, traditionalproject management, which is dened by PMI, is used.However, in divided projects of EAC which are small building

    blocks of the whole program management, agile projectmanagement is used. Accordng to Daniel and Jon Feandez

    [12] this tpe of management is called as "Hybrid Approach.Although our suggested solution use two project managementapproach and it seems as hybrid, agile project management isdominating all conversion projects because of the divided

    nature of the projects.

    Aer determining project approach, establishing roadmapand generating project plan, companies need to make

    projection estimation in order to determine resource, time andbudget for EAC.

    ISBN: 978-1-4673-5613-8013 IEEE

    2) Project Estimation TechniqueAccording PMI (2008), there are 5 tpes of project

    estimating tecniques which are: analogous estimating (Topdown), bottomup estimating, parametric estimating, tee

    points estimating and whatif aalysis.

    In this approach, a manager should mix topdown, bottomup estimation tecniques to obtain the best estimation. Not onlytopdown but also bottomup estimation should be consideredabout time and budget in projection. Topdown estimationshould be done rst. Validit of topdown duration estimatesdepends on historical information, similait of the historical

    projects and expert judgment. Aer that, to do bottomupestimation, ever single project should be inspected in detail.

    All tasks identied in work break down structure andestimation should be done. Duration time should be calculatedin personday unit to understand clear and simple employeeallocation. Aer determining personday of all projects, budgetcan be calculated. This result should be compared with topdown estimation. Topdown and bottomup estimation should

    be approximate to gain good estimation. While estimating eachtask, analogous estimating method should be used by using

    expert judgment. Aer this step, project plan may be updated.A manager of EAC project has to prove this project

    estimation to the board for project approval. Cross check tmeand budget projection with trusted advisor company is acogent evidence for approving EAC projection.

    D) Organization Model During ConversionIn agile approach, human management is more signicant

    than business and tecnology development. In this section, howto achieve this management issue successlly is discussed.

    1) Creating Federated DepartmentAs EAC inuences ever department in organization, all

    depatment tend to be in project implementation. All

    departments at issue want to be in decision process. In tu,there are too many heads and competing departments whichmake the process slow down. It cause to chaos and lead inlosing conol. In order to execute, conversion ProjectCompany needs to create lly authorized federateddepartment. Due to the enterise architecture notion, the nameof the depatment should be Enterise ArchitecteDeparment (EAD). This department should...


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