In contrast, enterprise architecture, which also includes the aforementioned four types of architecture, operates at the strategic level and its scope and span is the enterprise rather than a specific business problem. EAs who can adapt to new ways of thinking and working and stay up-to-date on the latest technological developments will be essential to the organization’s success. They also act on the human system that creates the technology to ensure greater agility and effectiveness. They are Lean-Agile Leaders responsible for mentoring teams and enhancing the overall capabilities of contributors. This new generation of EAs will need to lead by example, continuously learn, and model SAFe’s Lean-Agile mindset, values, principles, and practices. They help lead the change to the new way of working and organizing Agile Teams and ARTs around value.

solution architect responsibilities in agile

There are various roles in the Scrum Framework that have to be coordinated for the Product Increment to be developed and executed successfully. Scrum is a framework where people address complex adaptive problems while productively and creatively developing and delivering products that have the highest possible value. A product is developed and delivered in Sprints which refers to a period of one month or less. In this period, a definition of done is aimed to be completed by the Developer and a potentially shippable product is being released.

Solutions architect vs. project manager

During the pre-sale’s activity, ESA and ISA both define the macro assumptions to be followed by the client and the chosen integrator. The big picture vision is shared between ESA, ISA and of course between SAs. This vision is shared too with both system integrator Project Leader and client Account Manager. This last flow should be maintained regularly during the project as it might be source of future opportunities and/or quoted mitigations. Agree with your argument on multiple levels; especially that SA’s often have a rarefied view and often take, under the auspices of governance, a normative approach to implementation deficits.

It is very difficult to fit the dynamic priorities and parallel tasks into this culture. Technical debt, technical considerations are getting lower priority in product backlogs compared to business features. Resistance, for any suggestions and changes to the existing processes, the acceptability is very low or almost nil from the Customer. I personally think the architect should code at least prototypes, else I see no credibility in the decisions that the architect takes.

What about Architects?

Align on enterprise architecture – In addition to delivering on its purpose for the intended customer, every large solution must also align with the requirements of the rest of the organization and business ecosystem. Much of this pertains to enterprise architecture and requires close interaction of the Solution Architect with the Enterprise Architect. Some of these collaborations occur naturally in the context of the Portfolio Kanban system. Often, the Solution Architect may perform the role of the Epic Owner for an architectural epic in portfolio kanban. Aligning with the rest of the organization may also involve interactions with Solution Architects from other Solution Trains. Serving in an Architect/Engineering role in a Lean Enterprise often requires adopting new mindsets and habits in how people approach their work.

Demo the sprint output to business for customer feedback and accommodate necessary changes and Secondly, the team needs to have the right composition of experienced and fresher’s engineers. Agile methodology predominantly works on the “one-task at a time” principle. The scrum meetings expect everyone including the architects to log the efforts and report status on those lines. Also, strictly logging the efforts against the exact tasks would result in the creation of an unmanageable number of tasks.

Preserving architectural governance and alignment

The solution must meet the users’ needs, but not necessarily every wish and constraint. The architect should help to identify and resolve conflicting requirements, helping to say “No”, or “What do you really need? The architect’s objective is working solutions, and the best solution for the enterprise may not solution architecture responsibilities even need new software to solve the users’ problems. The architect is frequently an evangelist for new or different technologies, processes or solutions. However, he also has a responsibility to help manage change, which may mean reining in his enthusiasm where risks and costs would outweigh the benefits.

solution architect responsibilities in agile

These team members who know about handling the Architectural structure of the product are required to interact with the other members and Stakeholders regularly. They are responsible for attending stand-up meetings and taking various items of the Product Backlog and working on them. Architects may also require to break the items on the Product Backlog into smaller stories such that it is easier for the Developers to create the Product Increment. Other tasks such as coming up with a design or an Architecture to deal with performance or security could also be assigned to the Architects of the Scrum Team. Formulate architectural intent for the solution – Solution Architects are responsible for defining the architectural concept of the solution. This includes critical technologies and their use, the structure of the solution in terms of its subsystems, and so on.

Client and ISA Trust relationship

During the past decade, the project management improvement led to Agile methodologies, at least for the core solution implementation. They can also delay decisions and architecture development until necessary and decide on the amount of information required before decisions are made (usually during spikes or Proof of Concept ). This enables evolutionary architecture, promotes leaner developments and increases delivery velocity.

solution architect responsibilities in agile

Others that do hire one are not clear on the architect’s role within the agile context. Solutions architects are to be able to assess not only the business and technical implications of the solution they offer but also any kinds of risk it may incur – security, compatibility, operational, financial, etc. Such immensity of tasks calls for a broad scope of competencies and skills a solutions architect must possess. Supporting the development environment – Facilitating the reuse of code, components, and proven design patterns. Influencing and promoting good practices for modeling, system design, and coding.

Deep analytical skills

Note that there are agile processes for large scale projects (e.g.SAFeandLeSS) to follow. However, these introduce quite a lot of process and in my experience is that waterfall is used to control multiple teams each delivering in an agile way. By sub-dividing the project into smaller chunks , developers can design, build and deliver within each sprint and provide incremental business value. This enables a ‘fail-fast’ mentality which refactors and restructures code as and if required.

solution architect responsibilities in agile

They ensure that enablers are defined and prioritized in the appropriate solution train and ART backlogs. Defining enablers – Solution AEs are primarily responsible for defining the enablers that explore alternatives and build the architectural runway that support the solution’s future functionality. Enablers are also used to refactor the system and reduce the technical debt inherent in evolving systems. Ensure implementation flexibility – While some requirements are known upfront, many can vary as new knowledge emerges and is subject to further discussion.


Any design changes identified during the middle of the iteration pushed to the next iteration. Work ahead of the development team at least by 2-3 weeks and decide on a strategy i.e. an architecturally correct approach to implement the user story. Key to this teaching role is helping to resolve technical conflicts among team members and across teams within a tribe. Part of this is having an understanding of where the disagreements have arisen in the past, giving the architect a better sense of where they will arise in the future. A key part of outlining the future is to make sure that you’ve anticipated the biggest possible issues and make sure that you have a plan for settling disagreements about them as much as possible before they start.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *