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January 14, 2018

The Arc-E-Tect predictions for 2017 - In hindsight [2/2]



Last year, like every year, I did some predictions on what would be in and what would be out in 2017. But unlike other years, last year I actually posted those predictions on the internet.
Before I start with my predictions for 2018, I will go back to my predictions for 2017 and see how things turned out.
This is part two, and part one you can find here.

#6: KVI in, KPI out

"Forget about performance. Performance, in the end, means nothing when it comes to an organisation’s bottomline. What matters is value. However you want to cut it, unless value is created, it’s not worth the effort. And by value being created I mean that the difference between cost and benefit increases."

First prediction that I am looking at in this post is a bust. Although more and more teams and organisations are transforming into agile adopters, the value driven aspects of agility is still undervalued by most. I hardly come across organisations, departments or even just teams where success is measured in terms of realised value. Vanity metrics are pretty much still the norm. It's a shame because it also means that the promise of applying agile concepts are still a long way from being realised.

#7: Products in, Projects out

"It shouldn't surprise you, but I'm not a big proponent of projects and instead love to see it when organisations switch to a product focused approach. But in 2017 it will turn out that I'm not the only one."

This is happening big time in a lot of environments I've been in. The main reason why organisations transition from a project perspective towards a product perspective is because of CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery). With reduced cycle times as a result of automation of the software delivery process, it is almost impossible to not release a product early and keep on working on it. Hence, delivery to production does not result in the end of a team.
My main concern in these situations is the lack of a Product Owner who has mandate over scope. The Project Manager typically does not have that mandate. It is the next step.

#8: Heterogeneous in, Homogeneous out

"In 2017 we’ll truly face the uprising of new and more technologies, concepts, architectures, models, etc. And in order to be able to manage this we will finally understand that we need to embrace the fact that our environments consist of a multitude of everything. In many smaller organisations that are at the forefront of technology and that are working in agile environment it is a given, but now that large organisations have also set out to adopt the ‘Spotify’ concept and thus teams have a huge amount of autonomy, polyglot is key."

Yes! Most organisations have dropped their need for huge standardisation efforts. Instead I see that architecture principles are becoming highly popular. With that and the gradual move towards autonomous teams I do see a shift in mindset where homogeneous environments is no longer considered the answer to all IT problems. This is also a mindset shift from efficient towards effective.

#9: Activities in, Roles out

"The thing is, we’re moving, as an industry, in the direction where we want be able to get feedback as early in the process as possible, which means that every person concerned with creating and delivering a products will be involved in everything needed to create that product and ensure that it works as intended and more importantly as needed. In this setup, everybody is what we in 2016 called a full-stack developer."

In 2017 this didn't happen. The T-Shaped employee and the Full-stack developer are found in small organisations. Large enterprises still have a culture based on decades of functional hierarchies. Contracts are still based on roles where T-Shaped and Full-stack have yet to find their spot. Unless agile transformations are no longer considered to be merely an IT and even just a software development thing, it will become very hard to get into cultures where teams are considered to be the atomic entity in product development and instead of roles and responsibilities, tasked are performed as activities.

#10: Agile in, Waterfall uhm... also in

"Well, agile is finally in and is going to replace waterfall projects in those organisations where there is an active movement towards agile. Which nowadays are the majority of enterprises. These organisations are heavily invested in dropping the traditional practices and adopting new, more business value oriented practices."

In 2017 I saw more and more organisations realising that the typical waterfall projects can actually be done in agile ways. This notion is actually causing the existence of waterfall to be questioned. Do we still need waterfall? No, not at all. But we still need large projects. In 2017 I saw a realisation by many managers as well as architects that large project and waterfall are not different words for the same behemoth, instead there is no a clear tendency to actually do large projects by applying agile practices and waterfall seems to be relegated to only tiny projects. Ironic, but pretty awesome.

This was part two of a two part on a quick glance on my predictions of 2017. Yesterday, I have posted part one of the series and see about how the first 5 predictions turned out. Next week will be about my predictions for 2018.



I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks once again for reading my blog. Please don't be reluctant to Tweet about it, put a link on Facebook or recommend this blog to your network on LinkedIn. Heck, send the link of my blog to all your Whatsapp friends and everybody in your contact-list. But if you really want to show your appreciation, drop a comment with your opinion on the topic, your experiences or anything else that is relevant.

Arc-E-Tect

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