I’ve just spent three enjoyable days at the 2006 Enterprise Architecture Conference in London. IRM did their usual excellent job of making it run like clockwork, and my good friend Sally Bean helped them develop an interesting and varied programme. To my mind the best speakers were Jeff Scott, and Chris Wilson of BP. Another encouraging sign was the presence of a great many International delegates.
I presented a paper on Agile Architecture. If you regularly read my work you’ll recognise many of the ideas, but I’ve managed to bring them all together for the first time. You can download my slides and script here.
What was very interesting was how the thrust of the material has changed from a few years ago. No-one was claiming that a given framework, process or toolset can solve EA problems. At the risk of being uncharitable I thought John Zachman’s ideas sounded very tired, and there was almost no mention of alternative frameworks such as TOGAF. I may have self-selected by not attending any vendor sessions, but there was also no promotion of tools or technology. A common view was that EA, SOA and many supporting concepts are currently entering the trough of the hype cycle.
Instead the focus was largely on people-related problems and approaches. The labels varied, but several speakers introduced ideas familiar to agile architects. Maybe we’re doing something right after all.