The current setup (brief description)Each of the development teams works with a dedicated team architect - (s)he's a real developing team member. We conduct a weekly Scrum of Architects that lasts 1 hour to discuss architectural topics raised by the teams, architectural topics in general and to decide on so called Tech stories.
Some more details:
The role team architect
- guides and supports the team creating software designs and revising existing ones by suggesting possible refactoring or redesign necessities.
- enables decision making on architectural questions in the team and across teams
- by sketching a design in the sprint planning and/or as sprint preparation + during the sprint
- being involved in all architectural discussions
- plays an active role in code reviews
- fosters sync on architectural topics across teams
- creates and fosters approval for tech stories raised by the team
- supports the product owner in pre analysis of stories, defining business values and priorities for tech stories
- still helps developing important software parts (to stay in touch with the code and to see architectural areas)
What about tech stories?
Tech story lifecycle
- The team architect or the chief architect creates a tech story and adds it to the tech story backlog (an own backlog for all tech stories - see it as an incubator before a tech story is allowed to go into the product backlog for a team)
- The tech story is checked by an approval team - if necessary changed and finally approved or rejected (based on discussion).
- It's decided what team could implement the tech story (mostly tech stories come from a team - this way the assigning is obvious)
- An approved story is added to the teams product backlog.
- The product owner and team architect decide on the priority.
- The tech story is estimated in the next backlog grooming session and the priority gets adjusted with the new information.
- A tech stories goes in a sprint when it's the next story to pick up from the product backlog. The team architect helps the team to understand the background and moderates this part in sprint planning I+II
- The implementation gets reviewed by the team architect and for bigger stories in the Scrum of Architects.
The Scrum of Architects meeting
- to discuss architecture topics raised by the teams or raised from the chief architect or tech lead
- it ensures a tech sync across the teams
- common tech impediments get visible
- it hinders having more than one team working on the same topic without knowing it
- have a tech story backlog grooming and approve/reject/request for change on not yet considered tech stories (the story creator explains the background in details - it's like selling the story)
Everyone can follow and contribute
- The team has a strong voice through the team architect
- Architectural information is accessible
- via the tech stories and its store - the tech story backlog
- a tech blog
- public meeting minutes
- an active information sharing by the team architect
- The product owner can maintain the product backlog including tech stories with the help of the teams architect.