Engineering the Future of Software
29–31 Oct 2018: Tutorials & Conference
31 Oct–1 Nov 2018: Training
London, UK

Beyond the technical: Succeed at leading a software architecture team

Maggie Carroll (MAG Aerospace)
15:5016:40 Monday, 29 October 2018
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Overview
Average rating: **...
(2.64, 14 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software architecture leads, enterprise architecture leads, and experienced architects

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experiece with software development, software architecture, and working in a business environment

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to start an architecture team from scratch
  • Explore techniques to ensure success in the organization and skills and tactics to pass along to your team


Software architects and enterprise architects work with a variety of roles, and often the deep technical work is performed by other application architects or solutions architects. Maggie Carroll shares useful skills and actionable techniques for creating a new architecture function and leading other architects in developing a system of systems. Along the way, Maggie compares two diverse architecture challenges—starting up a new EA function on an IT team comprised of solution architects leading Agile Scrum teams and integrating large and small vendors in a highly technical real-time proprietary system while meeting a faster-than-before schedule—by storying the solutions, with an honest look at the level of success and pivoting.

Topics include:

Starting with the end in mind: What’s the goal?

  • Align with corporate strategy
  • Find alignments with business partners
  • Identify artifacts to communicate ongoing success: A roadmap? A schedule? A transformation diagram?
  • Is schedule king or is cost king? What to do if it is neither.

Gaining influence starts with ownership

  • Create a framework within which others contribute
  • Technical architects own their piece (The first 90 days; or, What got you here won’t get you there)
  • Business partners are key stakeholders

Energizing the team: Create opportunities for success with skill development

  • Effective estimation
  • Framework choice
  • Governance that works
  • To meet or not to meet?
  • Vendor selection
  • Celebrate, acknowledge, reward

Lather, rinse, repeat

  • Document your business rhythm
  • Follow your business rhythm
  • Improve your business rhythm

Communicate with the stakeholders

  • On the business rhythm
  • Continually update and pitch your artifacts, articulate your value, and continually sell
  • Implement useful changes, even if they don’t have acceptance yet
Photo of Maggie Carroll

Maggie Carroll

MAG Aerospace

Maggie Carroll is a senior engineer at MAG Aerospace, putting together a system of systems and enabling vendors to play well together. Maggie has been a software architect and enterprise architect for the last six years and has worked in software engineering for the last 30 years. She helped launch two successful startups and has helped with several large real-time systems in the aerospace industry. Maggie loves leaning up processes and has a passion for improving team dynamics to get great results.

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Picture of Maggie Carroll
Maggie Carroll | SENIOR ENGINEER
26/10/2018 1:41 BST

Looking forward to the O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference in London! So curious to hear what other attendees are interested in gaining from the conference . . . . .