Most agile methodologies does not mention anything about the role of the architect. The team is supposed to be self-managed and take care of everything, including architecture.
“Big Design Upfront is to be avoided at all costs!”
But what about technical debt? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone had the big picture? Someone who knows the key technologies and standards to use and makes sure that central mechanisms such as error handling are handled conformly?
This has always been some of the focus areas of a software architect. But how does an agile architect differ from a “traditional” one?
In my view, the traditional, high-tower, ivory architect is long dead anyway, so the role of an agile architect is just the same as that of any architect independent of what kind of development methodology that is being used – agile or not. You have to be pragmatic, know the technologies used, be able to communicate through code with developers (no-one likes PowerPoint anyway…) as well as being close to the business stakeholders.