Since the starting of this blog my professional life developed and it was time for a retrospective and redesign of this blog. I changed the title into On Agile Architecture, Scrum, Project Management and Change Management. These topics cover my professional interests and experiences.

Change Management
First of all Change Management is a topic I covered since University (1994). I think the classes of Cor Lammers on Organizational development and change management are the most inspiring and forming classes I attended. His books Organisaties vergelijkenderwijs and Organiseren van bovenaf en van onderop, Mintzberg’s and Gareth Morgan’s Images and identities of Organization are the ones most influential.

Today I still use Léon de Caluwé ‘s book “Learning to change” and his five colors to describe five Change Paradigms. This book provides a comprehensive overview of organizational change theories and practices. The authors compare and contrast five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change: yellow print thinking, blue print thinking, red print thinking, green print thinking, and white print thinking. They also discuss in detail the steps that change agents take, such as diagnosis, change strategy, the intervention plan, and interventions. In addition, they explore the attributes of a successful change agent and provide advice for career and professional development.

Change Management and IT
In 1995 I entered the IT-industry. I was surprised to see IT projects disregarded the change management aspect. IT has introduced big changes into our world, organizations and personal life. The introduction of the first bookkeeping systems, ERP systems and Service Oriented Architecture changed the way we do business.  The IT projects that introduce these changes do not take in consideration the change management aspects. The projects are organized in a instrumental approach in which the business defines it requirements. the design is made, the system is developed, tested and implemented. In the last phases the exceptions of the business are not or partly met. IT projects fail. In my perspective IT projects fail because the dominant change paradigm in IT is blue print thinking. Sometimes a bleu print approach will work. Some times others approaches will have more effect.

Architecture and the paradox of alignment
The bases of architectural thinking is bridging the gap between Business and IT. The business demanded change and current IT architectures prevented this.  For the last years many IT organizations have bridged the gap between business and IT by using architectural practices and methods (TOGAF, AIF). The adoption of architectural practices has showed to be difficult. In practice architects started an architectural process in which they dived into writing an enterprise architecture. Architect take a model and start filling in the boxes (another blueprint approach). Several months they later submerged with a tick document the business could not read. During this process the business got more and more frustrated because the architect delayed projects or vetoed solutions. The architectural process only widened the gap. This I call the paradox of alignment.

In essence architects focus on creating a dialog between the business and IT.  In this dialog they will establish a common view on what architecture is needed to  the organizations achieve their mission. Most common objectives are shorter time to market or being more cost effective. The dialog is about making predictions (to be) about the future and about analyzing the current situation (as is). The success of this dialog is in the design (color) of the dialog.  The design of the process can be based on a model. Like Rob Poels I think other designs can be more effective.

Part 2 : Enterprise Architecture and Software Development
Part 3:  Scrum
Part 4:  Project Management

 

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