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Poort Named Winner of 2016 Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award


March 30, 2016—The SEI has named Eltjo Poort, Distinguished Solution Architect at CGI in The Netherlands, the winner of the 2016 Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award. This honor recognizes an individual or team using software architecture to improve organizational practices or software development. Poort will receive the award at the 2016 Software Engineering Institute Software Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference, which will convene May 2-5, 2016, in San Diego, California.

The award committee singled out Poort’s development of Risk- and Cost-Driven Architecture (RCDA), an innovative and cohesive approach to software architecture that unites architecture principles from practice, literature, and research. Originally developed for internal use by CGI, RCDA has been adopted by a growing number of organizations and its training program has spread across 10 countries on 5 continents. Today, more than 500 software architects have received extensive training in RCDA.

“I feel honored to receive this award from the most respected research institute in our profession,” said Poort. “It is a great recognition of the work done by the RCDA team at CGI in the past six years.”

In nominating Poort, Philippe Kruchten noted that “RCDA’s success is due to its different way of looking at architecture from traditional approaches; it stimulates architects to execute their profession as a continuous decision shepherding responsibility, rather than an upfront modeling exercise.” 

Seconding Kruchten, software architect Eoin Woods lauded Poort for his “pioneering work in focusing and prioritizing architectural effort using risks and costs.” Woods observed that Poort’s work has “helped to influence the thinking of many architects, giving them an approach to managing their work for the highest impact.”

In his 30-year career in the software industry, Poort has undertaken many engineering and project management roles. He oversaw the implementation of the first SMS text messaging systems in the United States. More recently, Poort published work on improving architecture practices, including his doctoral thesis in 2012. As noted, Poort is best known for his work on RCDA, a set of principles and practices for agile solution architecting. Visit his solution architecture blog at

“The SEI is pleased name Eltjo winner of the inaugural Linda M. Northrop Software Architecture Award,” said William Pollak, SATURN 2016 conference chair. “Eltjo has done much to advance the field of software architecture and to develop and promote architecture practices that contribute to the success of the organizations that adopt them.”