This week, we set in motion the process that will make Risk- and Cost Driven Architecture (RCDA) part of CGI’s global portfolio. CGI’s solution architecture approach, originally developed for internal use by CGI’s (at the time Logica’s) solution architects, will be made available to clients. The offering will consist of training, coaching, consultancy and tooling, supporting clients that wish to improve their solution architecting results.
I am very excited about this next stage in RCDA’s development. We started RCDA some years ago as an internal repository for good architecting practices that we harvested from practice and literature, with the aim of improving and standardizing the way our architects shape solutions for our clients. During this process, we published some papers and even a PhD thesis about the science behind RCDA. The publicity around these publications led to sponteneous requests by clients, interested in applying RCDA practices in their own organization. The logical next step was to make RCDA part of our offering portfolio – a step that we are now taking. I have been working on this with our marketing, communications and portfolio management people the past few weeks.
For those of you who do not know RCDA, here’s a primer: RCDA consists of a set of proven principles and practices that support architects throughout the process of interpreting stakeholder requirements, and subsequently designing and delivering the best fitting solutions. The application of RCDA has shown to help in various ways:
- It optimizes communication between solution architects and business stakeholders – RCDA-trained architects communicate about architectural decisions and trade-offs in business terms.
- It creates an environment where architects base design choices on a clear and agreed set of architectural requirements, using objective and economically oriented trade-offs, rather than hypes or personal preferences – RCDA stimulates such an environment by introducing practices that objectify architectural decisions and priorities, and put them in a business context.
- It reduces the risk of delayed delivery and budget overruns – RCDA sees architecture as a risk- and cost management discipline, bringing economic awareness to the design process and avoiding “gold-plating”.
In the end, these benefits result in cost savings on IT projects and more agility in IT solutions, with improved support for the business. RCDA’s structure allows its practices to be implemented in an agile manner, fitting into almost any existing process or organisation where solution shaping plays an important role.