Continuing to Increase Velocity with Re-Usable Components
Fannie Mae’s mission is to advance equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality, affordable rental housing across America. To support this mission, we are executing a company-wide digital transformation to deliver smart, innovative solutions that help make mortgage lending faster, better, cheaper, and safer.
In our last article, we discussed how we’ve streamlined our governance processes to enable technology velocity while working to remain safe and sound. Today, we will dive into how we have built re-usable architecture and design components in order to accelerate the delivery of technology solutions.
Architecture as an Accelerator: Reusable Patterns
We started from the top with our architects. We knew the way to increase re-use was to design and build the right standardized patterns for solving common problems and, to do so, our architects would have to be more practical and closer to the ground.
To accomplish this, we:
• Embedded architects in the development squads with the most transformative problems, and cross trained them to handle multiple expertise areas (T-shaped).
• Anticipated architecture runway needs and built enterprise-ready architectural patterns and designs.
• Maintained a tight-knit architect community to promote a “build-once, use-everywhere” approach.
This was the first step in the journey that enabled much closer collaboration between the architects and engineers.
Bringing Designs and Patterns to Market
Our next step was bringing these designs and patterns to market, which included building a robust repository with a nomenclature and classification system to help teams find the patterns they need. To do this, we established and institutionalized the following reference models to tie the business’ work to individual technology capabilities:
• Enterprise Capability Model (ECM) describes the core and foundational business capabilities needed to run our day-to-day business operations.
• Enterprise Process Taxonomy (EPT) defines a nomenclature of business processes related to the business capabilities.
• Technology Reference Model (TRM) defines the technology capabilities needed to enable the business capabilities.
This trio of interconnected repositories is what enables our technologists to effectively find and use the appropriate re-usable pattern.
Generating Code from Architecture
We went even further and defined composite patterns– consisting of two or more patterns. Development teams are able to select a composite pattern to generate infrastructure code directly, using tools such as Jenkins and UrbanCode, and friction lessly build on top of these pre-built components. This enables engineers to focus on building business features and substantially improves time to market.
"We knew the way to increase re-use was to design and build the right standardized patterns for solving common problems"
Governance helps steer teams towards these standard patterns. The architecture teams are scrupulous to ensure that all required governance controls, security requirements, and tools are included in the re-usable designs, which saves the teams from having to include these as part of their development and creates a de facto check and balance.
As a result, our technologists can now rapidly innovate, build, test, and deploy solutions, while supporting our technology environment.
Just the Beginning
Leveraging practical architecture and re-usable components and patterns as an innovation and velocity enabler is another step in our velocity journey, which also includes:
• Streamlining and automating how software is developed and deployed.
• Shifting the culture toward acceptable risks, failing fast, and “test and learn.”
• Automating maintenance and operations by eliminating handoffs with “you build, you own.”
• Transitioning to a more open environment via open-source technologies.
We look forward to sharing more of our journey with you. If you are interested in learning more about Fannie Mae’s technology teams, please visit our career page.
If you are interested in learning more about Fannie Maes technology teams, please visit our career page: https://www.fanniemae.com/careers