Approach, Architecture and Component-based Development will strongly
influence the way in which the transformation is delivered. This chapter
gives and overview of the most important changes.
Iterative Transformation Cycles
The transformation of business and ICT will follow an approach based
on iterative transformation cycles.
Transformation Cycle (ITC) approach originated from the iterative application
development approach (Iterative Application Development, IAD). The approach
is meant for changing all business and ICT aspects of a company in an
iterative fashion. Different aspects within an organisation - such as
commerce, organisational structure, personnel, administrative organisation,
finance, information, technology and legal aspects - may all be touched
upon in an iterative delivery of a transformation. The Iterative Application
Development approach was developed for the delivery of applications.
For a project, which may only involve the development of applications,
the IAD approach is sufficient. The Iterative Transformation Cycle approach
is useful for business and ICT transformations such as the realisation
of an ICT enabled Web Enterprise where a lot of business and ICT aspects
In a transformation
programme the iterative transformation cycles occur primarily at
the level of the achievement/assessment cycles. The delivery projects
within the programme are grouped in an iteration of achievement/assessment
cycles. Each transformation cycle delivers and assesses a next stage
of the solution. The solution grows during the consecutive stages iterative
and incremental from the As-Is situation to the To-Be vision.
two approaches for the delivery projects within an achievement/assessment
cycle of the programme:
results of a delivery project are achieved in a number of stages,
which lead step by step to the desired results. In this procedure
every step produces a useful result and leads directly to the next
results of a delivery project are achieved in one well-structured
step. At the start, the solution is clearly designed, and is continually
worked out in further detail; however, the target is always just the
programme may contain both linear and iterative projects. The combination
of linear and iterative approaches forms a major part of the transformation
delivery concept. It deviates from the idea that a single approach is
the best for every situation. The programme combines projects with various
approaches and supports the choice and combination of these approaches
for various stages of the programme.
Iterative versus Linear Approach
The most important differences between the iterative and linear approach
lie in the scope and the content of the executed steps.
example of a linear approach is the building of a house. Making the
first sketches, the blueprint, the design, getting the necessary approvals,
building and delivering it are all one-off, consecutive events. When
the house is finished, it will certainly need maintenance, but redesigning
the house will not be necessary; the basics are available and will remain
so as long as possible.
projects are characterised by a number of short steps. Each step is
an iteration that realises a part of the total solution, which can be
put to immediate use. After an iteration the project team can adjust
or revise the scope and content of the next steps or of the whole project.
of linear projects correspond to stages in the development like requirement
analysis, functional design, technical design and realisation. Every
stage provides the input for the next stage. It is certainly not the
intention to change the scope and content of the solution defined in
earlier stages during the later stages of the project. A characteristic
of linear projects is that they can be subject to go/no go decisions
after each stage, but have little means of altering the scope an content
without directly influencing the duration of or costs involved in a
project. A linear project normally results in either a 100 % or 0 %
solution, and the consequence of cutting off a project prematurely almost
always mean that one ends up without a result that can be used.
approach is effective when working on a solution which can be exactly
designed and where the development and implementation may be isolated
from other aspects. The target of a linear project is to achieve a predefined
solution for instance a certain ICT application. Therefore, a linear
project is product oriented.
limited view of the solution is not possible in a complex business and
ICT transformation that is aimed at business benefits. The route that
must be followed to realise the business benefits is not always clear.
This is both the case for the whole programme but also for a lot of
delivery projects within the programme. In order not to lose sight of
the goal, it is necessary to keep the business benefits in mind for
which the transformation programme was originally set up. The control
mechanism available within an iterative approach - i.e. the possibility
of reconsideration and adaptation of the delivered solution during each
step is very appropriate when the target of the project is to
realise an effect such as business benefits and not a specified product.
The assignment is then not to produce a product, but to realise business
benefits. Therefore, an iterative project is goal oriented.
between linear and iterative projects is also easy to observe in the
manner in which they are completed. A linear project is completed when
the product is delivered according to previously agreed specifications,
whether or not these specifications are still valid. An iterative project
is completed when the last step has delivered a solution that sufficiently
fulfils the goals, and a further step would not add any major extra
Characteristics of the Iterative Approach
The most important reason for choosing an iterative approach is its
flexibility. The flexibility to change one's mind and approach during
the course of the transformation, depending on the results of each stage.
The flexibility to readjust the specifications of the final version,
if the interim results require to do so. The flexibility to be able
to react to changes in the outside world, reactions from customers or
from the competition, and the reactions from one's own organisation
to the implementation of an interim step. The flexibility to be able
to optimise the route one is following, if it should become necessary
to redefine the target during the project.
transformation approach is not an approach, which targets only minor
projects and minor results. The approach is highly applicable to the
implementation of major changes throughout a company in both business
and ICT. Such projects could last for a number of years before achieving
sufficient results or before all components are fully integrated within
the organisation. It is easy to give a good description of the target
of such projects in the form of business benefits, but not the full
details of the business and ICT solutions involved. Therefore, it is
not possible to map out the route completely in advance, and during
the project the details will have to be added.
Combining Linear and Iterative Approach
The linear approach is not completely replaced by the iterative approach.
It is better to create a sensible combination of the linear and the
iterative working methods. Parts of the solution, which must remain,
stable or last for a long time, would be better designed and developed
according to a linear approach. Whereas those parts of the solution,
which are meant to be temporary or adaptable, would be better designed
or developed according to an iterative approach.
example of the virtual bank the back-offices
will form the base of the solution. Both the administrative processes
and the information systems of the back-office must be sound and stable.
They will have to perform their job at length, perhaps even for 24 hours
a day. So the linear approach is appropriate for the back-office part
of the solution.
channels will be determined to a greater degree by the daily activities
of the customers and employees. In such a dynamic area, one can expect
these activities to change regularly, especially if the virtual bank
is trying to follow market developments, or has to defend itself against
the competition, and therefore has to react to the unpredictable outside
world. It would then be better to design and develop the business processes
and information systems of the distribution channels using an iterative
approach; they are of temporary use and will have to be improved regularly
in order to keep them up to date.
Managing the Transformation Programme
Managing transformation programmes with a combined approach (linear
and iterative) is more complex than managing projects with a single
approach. The project management takes place by using milestones
and time limits.
is the delivery of a specified product at a certain date. An example
of a milestone is the completion of the document "Market Research,"
or the availability of the "Organisation Schedule". The product
is important for reaching the milestone: it has to be delivered. If
the milestone has not been reached by the set date - if the product
is not yet finished - more time is needed (and the project has over-run).
limits are used to indicate the moment in time by which a product
should be made available. When a time limit has been reached, the product
is made available in whatever form it is at that moment. This is an
important controlling mechanism within an iterative project. This mechanism
is called time boxing. An example of a time limit is the passage
of a three-week period, after which the version of the 'List of priority
demands' that is available at that moment is used to support decision
taking. As far as time limits are concerned, the actual moment in time
is the determining factor, and the product - as far as form and content
are concerned - available at that very moment is the one that is used.
If the product is not yet finished when a time limit has been reached,
then permission is requested for partial delivery.
of time boxing is budget boxing. In stead of a time limit is
budget limit is used. When the budget limit has been reached, the product
is made available in whatever form it is at that moment.
instrument for focusing the efforts within a time-box or budget-box
on the right issues is letting the customer determine what features
are essential, important and nice-to-have. Make sure that all features
deemed essential can be realised (else re-discuss essentiality or get
more time/budget). Furthermore let the customer prioritise the list
of important issues, the budget left over from the essentials will be
used to realise the issues in their chosen order. The role of nice-to-haves
is to take them into account if cost is minimal.
milestone is often used in linear projects, and also in iterative projects.
Time or budget limits are inherent to iterative projects. Therefore,
both terms appear in transformation programmes; milestones and time
limits. It is important here to realise that, due to their different
nature, time limits and milestones do not have to concur. The delivery
of a result is marked by or a time limit or by a milestone and not by
both controlling mechanisms means that a programme management will have
two characteristics. The programme management will have to give off
the right signals depending on the context, both to the project participants
and to the client. For a linear delivery project, the programme management
is expected to stimulate the project team, in order to ensure that the
product is finished by the date set as milestone. For an iterative project,
the management must stimulate the project team to ensure that the most
important part of the product is available by the date set as time limit.
The Component-Based Development (CBD) approach
will strongly influence the delivery approach of applications.
it easier to decide which part of the application development is performed
with a linear approach and which part with an iterative approach.
the division in activities of the application delivery with CBD as described
in chapter 8.
or system utility components and frameworks (activities 1 and 2) are
best manufactured in linear fashion. They must have a sound and stable
character, because they are reused or shared by multiple applications.
approach is most useful for the design and development of an application
(activities 3 and 4). Both the application-specific components and the
assembly of the application from components/frameworks are best developed
in an iterative way by a multidisciplinary team consisting of an architect,
developers and users.
in iterative and linear approach follows the division of the application
delivery in front office and back-office activities.
in the back-office develop with a linear approach the business-specific
and system utility components and frameworks. The back-office is product-oriented:
it delivers products (components and frameworks) to the front office.
and developers in the front offices design and develop the application
with an iterative approach. The front office is goal-oriented: it delivers
through iterative development of applications certain business benefits
to the customer.
of the iterative and linear approach is necessary in the case of Component-Based
Development, because this always involves the combination of adaptable
applications with flexible application-specific components based on
stable and sound business and system utility frameworks.
linear approach of application development starts with the requirements
analysis followed by a complete design of the application. The application
is build from scratch in conformance with the design.
iterative approach based on CBD the application architect will start
with a delta analysis (D-analysis). The architect takes business-specific
frameworks as the base for the design that best fit to the business
requirements. The architect makes an analysis modifications and extensions
with application-specific components that are needed to build the applications.
An example of D-analysis is the bicycle of Panasonic. They use a design
frame of a bicycle (see figure) for the analysis of modifications and
extensions that are needed to build a bicycle that perfectly fits to
the body and wishes of the user.
design and building based on D-analysis reduces to modifications of
an existing framework, extending it with existing components and frameworks
and building and adding some application-specific components. The development
can be done in a fast and iterative fashion in co-operation with the
approach with D-analysis is also the main reason for the reduction of
the development time of application from 9 months to 9 weeks or even
9 days. Analysing, designing and building the whole application in a
linear fashion is no longer needed. The development starts with D-analysis
of the gap between the required application and available frameworks
and components. The architect and developers have only to design and
develop the modifications and extensions that are needed to bridge this
Transition of Existing Applications
be easy when the information systems of the ICT enabled Web Enterprises
could be build from scratch. But building applications in a green field
is rare. Companies have a legacy of tailor-made application systems
or systems based on application packages. Both types of systems are
normally not based on architecture or a component-based approach.
application systems are difficult to adapt to business changes. Every
change in the functionality makes the system more complex and still
more difficult to change. Every change will take more time and cost
more money. Existing systems are based on older software and hardware
technology. Eventually this technology may become obsolete.
way to solve these problems is to replace the existing system with a
new one and use the component-based approach for developing adaptable
replacement in one "Big Bang" is not the best way:
of the existing systems are back-office systems supporting the business
functions and information for products and customers;
investments are made in the development of the existing applications;
"old" technologies, on which existing systems are based,
like mainframes, are still very capable for the job of processing
the huge transaction load.
systems support mission-critical business processes. A failure of
the replacement project may threaten the continuity of the business.
So it is
better to search for transition paths that facilitate the gradual migration
of the existing systems. Here are some possible ways in the case of
a financial company like a bank:
middle-office between existing and new systems
good moment for the start of the migration is the introduction of
new electronic distribution channels, like the Internet, electronic
kiosks or call-centres. The bank builds new systems for the electronic
distribution channels and adds a middle-office system that connects
the channels with the existing systems in the back-office. The first
step of renewal of the back-office applications consists of the building
of an interface with the middle-office applications and new transaction
application for the processing of transaction requests from the middle-office.
The result is "encapsulation" of the existing system. It
acts now like one big component. This step is relatively easy when
the existing system already processes transactions on-line, but can
be very complicated if the existing system processes the transactions
in batches overnight.
next step with support of the middle-office is partial renewing of
the existing systems. The bank builds a new transaction server for
an existing product, which is specifically build for use via the middle-office.
The applications of the new server are developed with CBD. The bank
can use the distribution channel manager for controlling, which customers
have their account at the new transaction server or at the old system.
This offers the bank the opportunity to migrate the accounts gradually
from the old system to the new transaction server. This limits the
risk of discontinuity of the services. The bank can gradually replace
the existing system by building a new transaction server for each
Reinvention of the Application Delivery
and CBD will lead to a reinvention of the application delivery. Like
every business, application delivery in the 21st Century
will become a virtual agile adaptive Web Enterprise. There are four
stages in this development:
development started in the sixties as a craft. Every application was
designed, programmed and tested individually by one person (the famous
analyst-programmer). The developer is a craftsman and his applications
show his own individual style and thus mostly his "creativity"
and not his methods. A good developer tailored the applications to
the wishes of the customer, but many developers tailored the applications
to their own insights.
the seventies the industrialisation of the application development
starts. Methodologists organise and standardise the development process.
The development of individual applications is replaced by projects,
which develop large tailor-made information systems. The industrial
principle of division of labour is applied through the "waterfall"-method,
which organises the process in consecutive stages of requirement analysis,
functional design, technical design, programming, testing and implementation.
Every stage has its own professionals with the specific knowledge
required for the type of activities. Customers get some "influence".
They must accept the business requirements as formulated by the developers
in the requirement analysis.
In practice this methodological development appears to cause problems,
especially when developing a large system and the project take some
years. The whole working order is more or less linear. The development
path must be gone through from the beginning to the end. The detailed
designs can hardly be reversed. If at some stage it turns out that
mistakes were made at an earlier stage, or that the business requirements
radically change, the development is in dire straits.
When the project ends well, customers mostly did not recognise any
relationship between the delivered system and the requirements they
accepted some years ago. The result is also an information system
with a monolithic architecture, which is difficult to adapt. So keeping
the system in line with the changing business requirements will always
need a lot of time and investments.
In the eighties the technologists try to improve the system development.
Automating the automation. They want to realise an industrial approach
with technologies such as 4th generation development tools,
CASE tools, repositories and reuse of software. The developers use
methods like workshops and prototyping with the customer for the fast
development of tailor-made applications. The result is faster development
and better user satisfaction. But the developers still have problems
with the development of large information systems because the individually
developed applications not always fit together, when they become part
of a larger system.
the eighties and nineties we see also the rise of software packages.
It is the first form of reuse. The software suppliers develop the
package once and distribute copies of the package to many users.
Software suppliers like Microsoft, SAP and Baan use an important principle
of production in the information age: develop immaterial products
like software, movies or encyclopaedias once and massively distribute
the copies via CD-ROM or the Internet. The earnings of the
mass-distributed copies amply surpass the investments in the development
of the product.
But packages still have a problem. Packages are a uniform product.
The users must always adapt themselves to the package or the package
must be customised to the specific situation of the user. The software
of SAP and Baan is adaptable to the requirements of the customer but
this customisation takes a lot of work. Another problem is that packages
support standard business functions and not always the specific business
functions of a company. This makes it necessary to add tailor-made
applications for these specific functions.
Also the package suppliers have discovered the component-based approach.
We see the componentisation of package-based solutions result in better
adaptability of the package to the business requirements and in easier
extensibility with tailor-made application components.
new stage is an answer to the problems in both the industrial and
mass-distribution stage. Mass-customisation of application delivery
is possible by:
component-based approach of application development. Adaptable
component-based applications replace both the monolithic tailor-made
applications and the monolithic software packages. The component-based
applications are assembled from tailor-made and off-the-shelf
coherent design of the business and ICT system based on an architectural approach guarantees that individually
developed applications will fit together in one ICT system that
supports the business requirements (.
transformational approach to business and ICT based on an
adaptive programme of projects that supports an interactive, incremental
and iterative development.
the reinvention of the application delivery. The above figure depicts
the way that the developers and organisations like Cap Gemini go
in the transition from craft to mass-customisation. From "crafting"
individual applications by a developer through people-intensive and
later automated development projects, we reach the stage of mass-customisation.
of CBD will be mass-customisation of the software delivery. Developers
will spend the most of their time in designing applications, components
and frameworks. The time-consuming programming of code is replaced by
generation from specification.
as application developer, will become a key participant in a Web Enterprise
that delivers applications to the customers. Our application developers
develop new applications or adapt existing applications in a real or
virtual office in co-operation with customers. The application developers
assemble tailored applications from components. The components are delivered
through the Internet by component developers in the back-office of Cap
Gemini or by independent component suppliers.
for the customer is an adaptable complex distributed information system,
which perfectly aligns with his own virtual, adaptive and agile Web