OSS Road-itecture. Part-roadmap, part-architecture

A post from earlier this week discussed a less risky, dependency-reduced, stepping-stone transformation approach. It contrasted with the big-bang delivery model that’s often proposed on OSS projects.

Taking the same train of thought, have you noticed how often architects (including myself) come up with an end-state view of what an OSS, or IT, or networks will be? Have you also noticed that they often seek to demonstrate the cleverness of their architecture in the end-state?

To be honest, I’m more impressed with architectures that cleverly guide a reader through the minefield of complexity via multiple lesser steps and steer towards an intended end-state. To be equally honest, this type of architecture is probably part-roadmap, part-architecture. The journey often demonstrates the impracticality of an ideal end-state.

This may lead to an OSS with compromises but at least it’s not compromised.

The big-bang end-state might look really impressive on paper, but not be viable for the delivery team.

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2 thoughts on “OSS Road-itecture. Part-roadmap, part-architecture

  1. I agree on the blend of architecture / roadmap. My view based on having been part of various transformation attempts is that puristic approaches tend to fail because their emphasis is on conformance to a fixed method. End-state architectures are drawn up often based on functional / technical expectation or demand combined with vendor product input. When capital costs, currency fluctuations, competitive situations are added into the mix (particularly in countries where ARPUs are low in US$ / Euro terms), there are different choices to be made. Point is (in my view) an end-state architecture is a cognitive illusion, it doesn’t exist; there are only transition architectures together forming a roadmap to a business vision.

  2. Seshan, I love your closing quote, “an end-state architecture is a cognitive illusion, it doesn’t exist; there are only transition architectures together forming a roadmap to a business vision.” Brilliant!

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