Auldenfire Sweden has learned through experience that building successful enterprise solutions requires dedicated planning and discipline. There are three essential organizational formation steps that must be taken before any work on an enterprise solution begins:
Our experience indicates that all organizations are, at the very least, concerned with their budget and resourcing requirements. Most organizations are also concerned with their enterprise architecture. Interestingly, many organizations are very weak in assessing their technology choices and the actual implementation. The functional responsibilities of these three review boards are required in order to make sure an organization's IT strategy is successful. Auldenfire Sweden has developed an effective, agile methodology that is architecture driven to meet the requirements for achieving successful IT project outcomes.
Auldenfire Agile Methodology
Auldenfire 12-Step Agile Program Methodology
Auldenfire Sweden has developed a pragmatic methodology based on the OMG's Model Driven Architecture that is designed to quickly deliver a complete solution. This 12-step full life-cycle process is divided into four functional phases:
Agile methodologies have become increasingly popular over the past few years because they deliver results in less time and with less cost. An agile methodology benefits an organization by distilling the life-cycle into a set of small, easy to implement processes that are focused on delivering results. Agile methodologies (or processes) are faster because they emphasize small team approaches that are flexible and more responsive to change. The problem with many agile approaches is that they de-emphasize formal processes and documentation - both of which are critical for success in large-scale IT projects and programs. The Auldenfire Agile Methodology (AAM) solves this problem by providing a framework in which documentation and formal process requirements are met while still providing the advantages of an agile methodology.
Gap Analysis - An analysis process which takes the organization's vision and translates it into an achievable goal. This goal is then compared to the current organizational state to form a baseline (which represents the current state of the organization from both an IT and an operational perspective). The baseline is then used to measure the changes that must be implemented in order to achieve the goal. This is an important concept since changes to the Information Technology will result in changes in how an organization conducts its daily operations. Pattern analysis, which relies on past similar goal realization activities (in the same or different organizations), is an effective tool in predicting change outcomes. The primary benefit of Gap Analysis is that it provides a framework for focusing activities on where change needs to be applied (i.e. activities are limited in scope to dealing with only those parts of the existing systems that will impact the outcome). The baseline also provides an effective yardstick for measuring progress and evaluating the final outcome. Gap Analysis is also one of the few mechanisms that can be reliably used in evaluating Economic Returns On Investment (E-ROI) and in calculating Economic Total Cost of Ownership (E-TCO). In many situations, the changes that are desired by an organization are not directly measurable in monetary terms. Economic analysis requires a reliable baseline from which predicted outcomes can be compared to the actual outcome.
Automation - Agile methodologies tend to de-emphasize formal documentation and formal processes since these activities tend to slow the process. A key benefit to using smaller teams is that informal communication and processes can often suffice. The problem with adapting this approach to larger activities is the resulting breakdown in communication between stakeholders - including operational stakeholders tasked with maintaining the system. AAM solves this problem by relying on a structured automation process to provide the formal documentation and processes required for success. Information is distilled so that it can be captured by a forms based process that saves the collected information into a repository. The database structure for the repository is platform independent in that it can be easily ported to most ANSI standard SQL relational databases (current supported products include: DB2, Informix, MS Access, MS SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and two OpenSource databases: PostgreSQL and with some slight limitations MySQL). A web-enabled front end is used to capture information, which is then placed in the common repository where it is available to the IT team as well as to automated code generation tools. The database, front-end, and automation tools are bundled together in the AAM Automation Toolbox (AAM-AT). An important aspect of the AAM approach is that it provides a flexible solution that can be used on both small and large projects, with minimal cost in time, budget, and resources. Additionally, as project size and scope increase, the AAM Automated Toolbox can be ported to more capable systems (typically with only a few hours effort). This allows an organization to adopt and evolve AAM at a lower cost and less risk since smaller pilot projects can be used to introduce AAM to an organization.
Model Driven Architecture - Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is an essential component of the Auldenfire Agile Methodology (AAM). The Vision and Gap Analysis and Domain Analysis phases are used to drive the Modeling Phase, which conforms to the OMG's MDA standards. The Modeling Phase first develops a Platform Independent Model (PIM) in order to clearly capture, describe, and define the system requirements. The PIM is then compared to known design patterns from which more detailed models can be derived. Once the PIM has been detailed to a granular lever, it can be used to evaluate different solution approaches. A Platform Specific Model (PSM) is developed for each candidate solution approach and mapped to the PIM. The Auldenfire Agile Methodology approach relies on a direct one-to-one mapping process to ensure that all core functional requirements are met. This allows easier identification of functional weaknesses and gaps in a given technology solution. Once the weaknesses and gaps are identified, solutions can be examined in order to proactively eliminate risk from the project. MDA provides an important benefit to an organization by providing a better understanding of the solution - even when the technology has already been selected, the functional mapping exercise provides a significant risk mitigation benefit. Additionally, Auldenfire's implementation of MDA relies on established profiles for vertical and horizontal domains. The AAM Automation Toolbox uses these profiles to facilitate the code generation process.
The Auldenfire Agile Methodology is a real-world solution that has been effectively used in a number of global enterprise projects over the past few years in several platform independent domains including:
Industry domains where AAM has been effectively used include:
The Auldenfire Agile Methodology is an important element in building complex global e-Business and e-Government solutions. AAM evolved initially from government sector programs that were based on fixed price contracts. The requirement to deliver complete solutions that meet all client requirements within fixed budget and time constraints requires an effective methodology to control the process. The success of agile methodologies relying on an automated formal framework in the government sector and the more frequent demand of private sector organizations to control costs lead to the development of AAM. Today, AAM has been successfully used on both government and private sector projects. AAM is a pragmatic, full life-cycle approach for managing and executing critical IT projects at the program level.
On Time and Right the First Time
Anytime, anywhere, on time, and right the first time.
The key to making sure that a project is on time, and right the first time is to make sure that there is a well defined and planned out architecture. Next, the implementation needs to be carefully examined. Over 75% of Auldenfire Group consulting services are directly related to rescuing failing or failed projects. Improper implementation choices, approaches, and execution account for some of the more serious problems encountered. Three examples of situations that take place often enough to warrant special attention include:
Auldenfire Sweden has developed the Auldenfire Atelier - a proven methodology for Enterprise Application Integration and Enterprise Software Development. Key points of the Auldenfire Atelier architecture include:
Auldenfire Legion provides an implementation of the Auldenfire Atelier. Core functional services include:
Auldenfire Sweden adheres to a strict project discipline that emphasizes documentation, architectural design, project planning, and project management. Additionally, a combined serial and iterative build approach is an essential element for a successful project. A project's life-cycle is serial in that it has an initial inception phase and ends in a delivery that enters production. Small iterative development and build phases help keep the project manageable by reducing risk, providing synchronization points, and providing tollgates.
Auldenfire Sweden employees professional Enterprise Architects and Enterprise Program and Project Managers to keep our projects on time and right the first time. We are committed to professional standards in documentation, quality, and approach. Architecture and management science play an essential role in defining effective methodologies for successfully implementing enterprise architectural solutions.
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