What is AIM?
AIM is a platform to curate, discover, share, and reuse Architecture models and digitally transform how you deliver products and projects.
You create Architecture models as per usual and then upload them into AIM, which then lets you:
- Deep search through models so everyone can see planned or inflight projects and what reusable components are available.
- Reuse Architecture building blocks instead of designing from scratch.
- Use model validation rules and machine learning to check model consistency and quality according to your business’ modelling preferences.
- Create story overlays atop projects or reusable components to enable more discovery and understanding at scale, document design decisions, capture tech debt, and support assurance discussions.
- Achieve portfolio-level oversight of project/product development.
- Address significant issues facing the IT project lifecycle.
AIM uses the ArchiMate modelling language and can import either OpenExchange (.xml) or Archi (.archimate) file formats.
AIM web is a progressive web app. Go to https://aim-01.web.app to sign up.
This product is in a trial phase for early adopters and has a free trial period and a minimal fee ($10/month + GST) beyond the trial period to support cloud hosting/storage costs.
See Lite Business Case for what we think are the costs and inefficiencies facing many Enterprises today.
If you are facing some of AIM’s challenges, please join the early adopters’ group and provide any feedback to email@example.com.
The Platform Security guide is available on request, which documents the Google Cloud Platform security measures taken to protect content on the platform.
Features and Benefits
Remove the fog-of-war
Many Enterprises lack a central repository of product/project information and information on how to reuse IT components.
As a result, developing project architectures is slow going and involves a lot of unnecessary meetings to clarify simple things, like how an IT platform works, how a process works, or what the information lifecycle is.
This is compounded when there is staff turnover (loss of IP) and also as a result of increased remote working.
AIM provides that central repository into which you can load the project and reusable component models, easily discoverable by everyone involved in the IT investment lifecycle.
Since AIM uses the ArchiMate modelling language, you can load models that cover Strategy, Motivation, Business, Application, Technology, Implementation, and so on.
Models can be further augmented with stories overlaid atop different Architecture views to enable discovery and understanding by your teams.
Stories resemble what you might produce in a slide deck to take into a workshop to validate or gain acceptance of a project design decision.
This open and transparent platform supporting the IT investment lifecycle also simplifies socialisation and assurance of Architecture models — product/project models, EA reference models, and reusable component models.
Access from anywhere
AIM web is a mobile-first progressive web app, so looks good on your phone, tablet, or larger display.
This lets you carry the Enterprise around in your pocket and have the information you need to answer questions about how the business or IT Architecture works or how a project/product or component Architecture is developing.
Quickly answering questions on current state or target state architectures helps remove delays in decision-making.
Avoid scope blowouts
Architects often do a great job defining a target state but leave details out when explaining how the target architecture will be delivered.
AIM web can extract the Work Packages and Deliverables from your model into a hierarchical view to make it easy to see how the project team are planning to deliver and if a robust work breakdown structure (WBS) has been defined.
If not, you risk not having identified the time and cost to deliver the target architecture.
The WBS typically represents the direct costs to deliver the target architecture and should be combined with indirect costs in collaboration with a project manager.
Your Architecture Work Packages would also typically map to pieces of work under a Scaled Agile approach.
Improve Portfolio Management
In any IT delivery program, it is desirable to have a view that spans the entire set of projects under development,
Some typical portfolio-level questions are:
- How many projects are planned and inflight?
- Do the projects introduce any duplication or fragmentation?
- Do the projects align with strategic goals?
- How much technical debt is being created or remediated?
- Which Architects are working on which projects?
- Who are the project sponsors?
- Do all of the projects have a well-defined and agreed-on problem space?
- What are the critical decisions being made by projects?
- What components are being reused by projects?
AIM doesn’t create this content for you but does make it easy to capture and organise this content and see when content is missing.
Improve understanding of Architecture models
To provide feedback on a project design or strategy, stakeholders must first understand it.
AIM web makes it easy to find and navigate within and across models.
In this example below, we can see a JSON over HTTP element is used in 2 views, as shown by the teal highlighting in the thumbnail views. You can then select a thumbnail view to open it.
Make your presentations look great.
All your models are rendered using sharp SVG symbols and downloadable as SVG or images, so it is easy to include them in your other documents, emails, or presentations.
Most of the time, you will likely find that you do not need to export views from AIM.
This is because people can search and discover on the platform directly, and creating story overlays minimises the need to create slide decks and other documents.