Collaboration with IBM

On the EBIN programme at Lancaster, our special collaboration with IBM enables students to experience a unique module on IT architecture, taught by experts from IBM. 

IT architecture – the abstract organisation of enterprise software systems – is one of the most critical areas of applied computing in business today. Taking time out of their regular employment with the company, experienced IT architects from IBM’s Global Services division come to Lancaster for an intensive two-day workshop at which they show you the principles and methods of delivering appropriate and cost-effective IT solutions to address business needs.

IBM Architecture Workshop

This workshop – which forms an integral part of the programme's Managing IT Architecture module – gives you an opportunity to learn, apply and demonstrate architectural thinking in system design through a series of practical exercises followed by a presentation of the proposal your team has created. It also enables you to test your understanding and apply skills acquired from other parts of the programme.

Workshop process

The workshop is built around a case study that comes directly from IBM’s business practice. You work in teams, and your task is to play the role of IBM architects who are working as consultants to design an IT solution for a major international client.

You use IBM's Global Method to practise requirements gathering, scoping, and functional and operational modelling. This method is IBM’s de-facto standard process framework used to guide system design from marketing, to proposals, to delivery, to ongoing operations.

During the workshop you produce a variety of work products, including:

  • Industry Environment Analysis
  • System Context Diagram
  • Architecture Overview Diagram
  • Use Cases
  • Component Model
  • Operational Model

At the end of the workshop, you make a presentation to University tutors and the IBM architects who take on the role of key decision-makers in the client organisation. During the presentation, you are expected to present a winning proposal based on an architectural solution that meets the business and technical requirements that the team has identified.