Mastercard – Agile Business Architecture

Best practices for implementing Agile across the whole organization not just software development.

Agile Business Architecture

Mastercard offers a set of presentations defining ‘Agile Business Architecture’, repeatable best practices that can be used to implement Agile across the whole organization not just software development, offering a framework for enterprise-wide high performance transformation.

The practices are defined across three presentations:

  1. Agile Business Architecture – Experiences Linking Business Architecture with an Agile/Lean Method.
  2. Business Driven Roadmaps – Managing the work through feature release planning roadmaps, within an overall context of business-driven transformation.
  3. Architecture-Driven Investments – Central governance for explicitly linking  featured development to investment planning.

User Stories as Business Architecture “fragments”

As the name suggests the first presentation describes the central premise, expanding User Stories to add a Business Architecture context.

User Stories are the lifeblood of product and software development, and form the base unit of work for an Agile process, and Mastercard defines how they expand their scope to include BA elements.

Business Architecture Sprints

They describe their use of standard agile practices, how their headline ‘Product Vision’ feeds the Product Backlog which in turn is fed into Sprints of 24hr and 1-4 week cycles,

and how these are then augmented with what they call ‘fragments of Business Architecture’, with the slides below highlighting how they:

1) Encompass UI design elements, like web site widgets and updates.

2) Describes each fragment as a component piece of the overall Business Architecture, linking them to Capabilities like ‘Campaign Management’.

3) Integrates these Capabilities into an overall Solution Architecture.

4) Organizes them all into a Features Backlog, applying an indexing references to each requirement. Mastercard uses examples like AE-79: Develop process to manage servers.

Business Driven Roadmaps

The critical dimension is the expanded scope, that goes beyond utilizing Agile for the software development process only, extending and integrating the practices with other essential corporate functions, notably financial planning and enterprise architecture.

Through ‘Business Driven Roadmaps’ they explicitly define and cascade high level strategic objectives through the development process and back, so that traceability is achieved between top level corporate goals, the major capabilities required to achieve them and then the software development work being undertaken to deliver those capabilities.

 

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