Architecture in the Agile Context
Daimler FleetBoard develops and sells telematics-based Internet services for efficient fleet management. Telematics devices in trucks as well as vehicle and transport management services and their operation are part of its portfolio. With the telematics solutions of Daimler FleetBoard, transport companies can save up to 15 percent fuel in construction-site, distribution, and longdistance traffic and can manage their logistics processes better.
For its telematics products, Daimler FleetBoard is developing software for embedded systems and for information systems. For several years the development has been following agile principles and has been built on SCRUM. In order to manage the complexity and quality of the products, a strong focus is placed on software architecture. For this purpose, architecting has been organized similar to SCRUM and has been integrated into the development process.
In order to evaluate architecting in the agile context and possibly improve it, Daimler FleetBoard commissioned Fraunhofer IESE with the performance of an independent review. In this review, it was checked to which extent the current practices serve to accomplish the goals at Daimler FleetBoard and to which extent best practices are adhered to.
As a basis of the evaluation, Fraunhofer IESE worked with about 20 stakeholders to elicit the most important goals to be accomplished by architecting. In summary, these are high product quality and suitable standards for the development. Based upon this, practices in the following areas were discussed:
- Organizational design, teams, and roles
- Processes, activities, and tools used (e.g., architecture requirements, -design, -documentation, -implementation, -evaluation, terminology)
- Development artifacts and results
Results & Conclusions
- Whereas the realization that agile development does not work without adequate architecting is only gaining ground slowly in general, Daimler FleetBoard already realized this years ago and invested in architecting. Also, the work is consistently aligned with the goals.
- Daimler FleetBoard understands architecture as work in progress and covers all important activities.
- Daimler FleetBoard has explicitly established an “Architecture Steering Committee“, which is organized in accordance with agile principles.