Everyone’s Going to be an Architect: Design Principles for Architectural Thinking in Agile Organizations

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • Bettina Horlach
  • Andreas Drechsler
  • Ingrid Schirmer
  • Paul Drews
Organizational agility is a prominent aim for companies to thrive in today’s volatile business environments. One common building block of agility are (semi-) autonomous teams for continuously fulfilling and surpassing customers’ needs. However, these teams still need to see the enterprise’s ‘big picture’ of strategic objectives, business processes, and IT landscape to prevent organizational inertia or technical debt. This requires architectural thinking to inform these ‘non’-architects’ decision-making. To aid companies towards achieving sustainable agility, we propose six design principles as underlying logic on how to realize architectural thinking in agile organizations. The results are based on insights from interviews with sixteen employees and consultants with expertise on architecture management and organizational agility across several industries. Our work closes a gap in the agility literature, which so far mainly focused on non-generalizable blueprints for agile setups without showing their underlying logics, or approaches and role set-ups for enterprise-level architecture management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 53rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2020
EditorsTung X. Bui
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationHonolulu
PublisherUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Publication date01.2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9981331-3-764
Publication statusPublished - 01.2020
EventHawaii International Conference on System Sciences - HICSS 2020 - University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Hawai, United States
Duration: 07.01.202010.01.2020
Conference number: 53

    Research areas

  • Business informatics - agile and lean, organizations, producs and development, agile software development, case study, control entactment, team autonomy, team performance