Myth: Architect-led design and building has higher chances of success.

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28 Mar 2017 by mallyanitin

From Wikipedia, “Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder.

Architect-led designing and building is a deduction that can be made from the above statement. There is still a reasoning error in this statement.

Architecture is about managing complexity. It’s patterns and practices that help manage complexity.

  • Applied to software deployment, deployment patterns and practices represent the body of knowledge, and selected patterns and practices represent the software deployment architecture. E.g. CI/CD practice, Blue-Green Deployment pattern, Container pattern, …
  • Applied to software development, development patterns and practices represent the body of knowledge, and selected patterns and practices represent the software development architecture. E.g. Agile practice, XP Practice, Microservices pattern, …
  • Applied to business, business architecture patterns and practices represent the body of knowledge, and selected patterns and practices represent the business architecture. E.g. TOGAF Process, BPM Process patterns, …

Architect is a practitioner (bachelor, master, Phd) in architecture applied to a specific subject area. E.g. Enterprise Architect, Security Architect, …

It’s necessary to have leadership qualities to be a good architect.

However, Architect-led design and building success is still an error in reasoning. Architecture-led design and building success makes more sense. In some way, the prior is like Conway’s law, and the latter is Inverse Conway Maneuver.

One way to achieve architecture-led design and building is to separate the architect from the design and building organization to address the biases & conflicts introduced by the organization structure (Conway’s law). This design has it’s own perils; however, can be successful, if architectural practices are valued & prioritized at the business & portfolio level. Easier said than done.

Development-led architecture, design and build is an alternative approach. In this approach, architecture emerges early, and evolves to a minimal and good enough state to meet the user’s needs. This assumes that developers have been trained on architectural practices. This approach can achieve speed.

These two approaches can be combined i.e. “Development-led architecture, design, and build” and “Architecture-led design and build” to tune the system for both speed and consistency. It takes a mature organization (people) to adopt this approach.

Bottom-line, having an architect or architecture is necessary, but not sufficient for success.

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mallyanitin

mallyanitin

A leader! Attracted to creativity and innovation. Inspired by simplicity.

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Architecture Quotes

"Practicing Architects are consultants. Empower them to make them Architects"

"Architecture is the art of keeping things simple. This can get complex"

"Good architecture can be seen, great architecture does not even get in the way of eyes"

"Sometimes a great architecture choice, is not to do anything"

"A good architecture, is great enough, if simple enough to build"

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