Enterprise Awareness Requires Discipline

Whether you like it or not, as you adopt agile you will constrained by the organizational ecosystem, and you need to act accordingly.  It takes discipline to work with enterprise professionals such as enterprise architects, data administrators, portfolio managers, or IT governance people who may not be completely agile yet, and have the patience to help them.  It takes discipline to work with your operations and support staff in a DevOps manner throughout the lifecycle, particularly when they may not be motivated to do so.

Despite the fact that governing bodies such as project management offices (PMOs), architecture and database authorities, and operations may indeed be a source of impediments to your DAD adoption, these authorities serve important functions in any large enterprise.  Therefore a disciplined approach to proactively working with them and being a positive change agent to make collaboration with them more effective is required.

Although it takes discipline to work in an enterprise aware manner, the payoff can be dramatic.  Enterprise architects can help guide your team early in the lifecycle to adopt a viable architecture strategy.  Portfolio managers can help to govern your team to ensure that you truly are spending the stakeholder’s investment wisely.  Enterprise administators, including data management professionals and operations professionals, can help you to leverage existing legacy assets.  These are just a few examples of the potential ways that enterprise professionals can help a DAD team work more effectively.

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4 comments on “Enterprise Awareness Requires Discipline

Bob M.

This reminds me of the “fish don’t know they are in water” joke, which has a serious point: Your capabilites are constrained / enhanced by your envrionment. Successful managers and successful businesess are adept at managing their envrionment.


There’s more to it than managing your environment, you also want to leverage it wherever possible and better yet enhance it. In the DAD book Mark and I talk about the boy scout philosophy of leaving the environment better than you found it.

In once sense the organization itself is an important stakeholder of any delivery team.

Gijs van Dulmen

I find it usefull to put the operations staff who are gonna support the application (or who already to-be-replaced application) alongside the team. Let them get into the circle of people building the application. It’s often that operations staff point to dev and dev points to operations. When you split up operations and place them next to the team this has a positive effect. Sort of a generalizing operations staff 😉


I fully agree. The definition of stakeholder that we use in DAD includes operations and support staff, amongst many others. An important aspect of DevOps is for delivery and operations people to work closely like this. Not only does it increase your chance of success on your agile project, it also provides an opportunity for developers to learn about the realities faced by their operations staff.


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