Enterprise Architecture is Key to an Agile, Digital-first Culture | Real IRM

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After a longstanding debate over the compatibility and relationship between enterprise architecture and Agile methodologies, The Open Group has released its Open Agile Architecture standard - a standard that provides guidance and best practices for enterprise architects transitioning to Agile methodologies.

The Open Agile Architecture (O-AA) standard caters to the needs of organisations undergoing digital transformation. According to Andrew Josey, VP Standards and Certification, The Open Group, “The need for organisations to demonstrate agility is a priority. Agile teams drive Digital Transformation within organisations by inventing new business models, delivering a superior customer experience, and building digital products and highly automated operating models”.

Agile, which focuses on quick release cycles, continuous delivery and collaborative team culture, is mostly rooted in software development. By adopting the Agile standard, organisations can capitalise on accelerated learning cycles. This means that Agile and Digital capabilities can continuously and simultaneously co-create one another.

The O-AA approach is designed to help organizations architect in an Agile environment. This includes techniques and practices for understanding the key elements of a successful Digital Transformation project, and the role Enterprise Architecture plays throughout. Taking into account key organisational factors, the standard also provides direction on experience-driven product architecture and development, as well as an efficient platform-driven operating model for guiding axioms and tenets in architecture design.

Some of the stakeholders that will benefit from this standard include business leaders, enterprise architects, product managers, product owners, operations managers and software engineers.


Although the O-AA standard comes with a very specific viewpoint and a different vocabulary to that of TOGAF, the O-AA standard should be seen as complementary to the TOGAF standard.

The O-AA standard is available for download from The Open Group Library. Please click here to download the standard - https://publications.opengroup.org/standards/c208

For more information about the standard, please feel free to contact Real IRM on +27 11 805 3734 or via email at info@realirm.com

Date Published: 
Thursday, 15 October, 2020 - 06:30