Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Agile Architecting Library

Getting Started

Over the past decade, Agile software development and software architecture practices have received significant attention from industry and government. The complementary nature of Agile development and software architecture practices is increasingly recognized and appreciated.

Ipek Ozkaya. "Architecting in a Complex World: Achieving Agility and Stability in Large-Scale Software Development" (webinar)

Technical Best Practices for Agile at Scale (AAS), Cyber Security & Information Systems Information Analysis Center, 2013.

Integrating Agile Architecting with Software Development Practice

Industry and government stakeholders continue to demand increasingly rapid innovation and the ability to adjust products and systems to emerging needs. Practices designed to expedite system delivery, such as prototyping or agile development, can paradoxically lead to unexpected rework costs that ultimately degrade the flow of value over time. These articles focus on the architecture principles and practices that enable enhancement of agility to support rapid and sustainable delivery.


Bachmann, Felix, Luis Carballlo, James McHale, and Robert Nord. "Integrate End to End Early and Often." IEEE Software, July/August 2013.

Brown, Nanette, Robert Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya. "Enabling Agility Through Architecture," Crosstalk, Nov/Dec, 2010.

Koontz, Ronald J., and Robert L. Nord. "Architecting for Sustainable Software Delivery," CrossTalk, Special Issue on Rapid and Agile Stability, May/June 2012.

Nord, Robert , Jim McHale, and Felix Bachmann. Combining Architecture-Centric Engineering with the Team Software Process (CMU-SEI-TR-031). Software Engineering Institute, December 2010.

Ozkaya, Ipek, Michael Gagliardi, and Robert L. Nord. "Architecting for Large Scale Agile Software Development: A Risk-Driven Approach," Crosstalk, May/June, 2013.

Ozkaya, Ipek, Robert L. Nord, Stephany Bellomo, and Heidi Brayer. "Beyond Scrum + XP: Agile Architecture Practice," in Disciplined Agile Delivery in the Enterprise, Scott Ambler (ed.). Cutter IT Journal, June 2013.

Tools and Methods

Working Together: the Team Software Process and Architecture-Centric Engineering 


Highlight: "SATURN 2013 Awards Conferred: The Conflict Between Agile and Architecture: Myth or Reality?" examines the conflict between agile and architecture in the context of the software development process and how the software architecture role fits into agile teams.

SATURN blog posts on the topic of architecture and agile

Agile Architecting Research Agenda

The SEI focuses on agile architecting to explore and create qualitative and quantitative architecture-aware methods and techniques for designing, analyzing, and evolving systems iteratively and incrementally.


Bellomo, Stephany, Neil A. Ernst, Robert Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya. "Evolutionary Improvements of Cross-Cutting Concerns: Performance in Practice." International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME). Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. IEEE, October 2014.

Bellomo, Stephany, Neil Ernst, Robert Nord, and Rick Kazman, “Toward Design Tactics to Enable Deployability: Empirical Study of Three Projects reaching for the Continuous Delivery Holy Grail,” 32-37. Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Dependability and Security of System Operation (DSSO 2014), held at the 44th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks. Atlanta, Georgia, June 2014.

Bellomo, Stephany, Robert L. Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya. "A Study of Enabling Factors for Rapid Fielding: Combined Practices to Balance Speed and Stability." 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013). San Francisco, CA, May 2013. IEEE. 2013.

Bellomo, Stephany, Robert L. Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya. "Elaboration on an Integrated Architecture and Requirement Practice: Prototyping with Quality Attribute Focus."  2nd International Workshop on the Twin Peaks of Requirements and Architecture  at ICSE 2013. San Francisco, CA, May 2013. IEEE, 2013.

Brown, Nanette, Robert Nord, Ipek Ozkaya, and Manuel Pais. "Analysis and Management of Architectural Dependencies in Iterative Release Planning."  9th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA). Boulder, CO, June 2011. IEEE, 2011.

Ernst, Neil, Stephany Bellomo, Robert L. Nord, and Ipek Ozkaya. Enabling Incremental Iterative Development at Scale: Quality Attribute Refinement and Allocation in Practice (CMU/SEI-2015-TR-008). Software Engineering Institute, June 2015.

Ernst, Neil, Ipek Ozkaya, Robert L. Nord, Julien Delange, Stephany Bellomo, and Ian Gorton."Understanding the Role of Constraints on Architecturally Significant Requirements." Third International Workshop on the Twin Peaks of Architecture and Requirements (TwinPeaks), Requirements Engineering (RE) Conference. Rio de Janeiro, July 2013.

Nord, Robert, Ipek Ozkaya, and Philippe Kruchten. "Agile in Distress: Architecture to the Rescue." Workshop on Principles of Large-Scale Agile Development, 15th International Conference on Agile Software Development, XP Conference, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Volume 199, Springer, 2014, pp. 43-57.

Nord, Robert L., Ipek Ozkaya, and Raghvinder S. Sangwan. "Making Architecture Visible to Improve Flow Management in Lean Software Development." IEEE Software, Special Issue on Lean Software Development (Sept/Oct 2012).

Nord, Robert L., Ipek Ozkaya, Raghvinder S. Sangwan, Julien Delange, Marco González, and Philippe Kruchten. "Variations on Using Propagation Cost to Measure Architecture Modifiability Properties." 29th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, September 22-28, 2013, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

SEI Blog

Highlight: "Using Agile Effectively in DoD Environments" describes how our research has approached the topic of Agile methods both from an acquisition and a technical perspective.

SEI blog posts on the topic of Agile