The Impact of Agile on Enterprise Data Development

Andy Peyton, IP Australia

The current trend in system development is the use of Agile techniques. However, most literature and guidance only discusses this as an application development technique with no mention of Agile in the modelling and design of databases. Data practitioners have very little published industry best-practice to rely on.

The Agile problem is further complicated when you consider differences between a simple application database and the need to develop an enterprise’s principal data store. This may be the database that holds the enterprise’s “crown jewels”, or the database that underpins the key activities of the organisation.

IP Australia is in the process of its largest software development in 20 years using Agile development practices. This project draws together data from four separate lines of business into a single harmonised database accessed by a single new back-end application. In support of this, IPA has had to evolve a successful approach to new data development that integrates with the Agile software development method.

This presentation will discuss the lessons learnt in the agile data development process – the good and the bad, and ranging from the initial data modelling through to the deployment of physical database structures. By the end of the presentation, you’ll understand some of the key challenges when designing and developing new databases to support agile system development and will be able to avoid some of the major pitfalls.


Andy Peyton is a Senior Solutions Architect for IP Australia. IP Australia is responsible for the issue and management of Patents, Trade Marks, Designs, and Plant Breeder Rights within Australia. Andy has worked for many years in various data management roles for different government departments and is currently leading the team in the design and development of the new database environment that will underpin IPA’s systems for the next 20 years.

Andy has previously worked in organisations such as Centrelink, Defence, Health & Ageing, Defence Housing Authority, Immigration, and the ATO. As a result, he has a keen understanding of the need for designing databases that meet the long-term needs of government departments where “applications come and go, but the data goes on forever”.

Andy has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Sydney and a Master of Management Economics from the University of NSW. He is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society and a member of DAMA Canberra.


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