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Pattern: Vision First

Defining a high-level transformation path as the very first step helps set the right course through an uncertain environment

The company has established a Business Case for going cloud native, achieved Executive Commitment, and is ready to move forward with a transformation initiative.

In This Context

The company needs to define a clear and achievable vision that can be translated into specific executable steps.
• Without an overall consistent vision, different teams will make independent and,frequently, conflicting architectural decisions.
• The combination of limited experience and lack of extra time and flexibility for research leads to pursuing cloud native implementation using “well-known ways.”
• In many companies, enterprise architects are responsible for creating a detailed architecture. Many enterprise architects lack sufficient theoretical or practical experience in the cloud native approach.
• Agile methodologies, widely adopted in the contemporary business world, create pressure to produce results early and onboard teams to new systems very quickly.

Therefore

Define and visualize the organizational structure and architecture of the whole system upfront.
• This can be either requested from external sources or uncovered by a series of small research and prototyping projects ranging from a few hours to a few days each.
• Keep the vision high-level to allow freedom of choice during implementation(not dictating specific tools or approaches) yet also specific enough to provide clear goals and desired outcomes.
• Revisit the vision regularly to evaluate status and adjust the plan if necessary.
• Executive Commitment paired with leadership by the Transformation Champion are essential for successful vision creation—this indicates the path for the teams to follow.

Consequently

All teams have a clear guiding principle for the implementation phase.
+ The teams can start producing the lower
-level architecture and translate it to the backlog of tasks.