The Architecting Forum has the intention to build up
a collection of documented best practices. Per best practice we
One of several prerequisites for architecture creative synthesis is the definition of 5-7 specific key drivers that are critical for success, along with the rationale behind the selection of these items
- The essence of a system can be captured in about 10 models/views
- A diversity of architecture descriptions and models is needed: languages, schemata and the degree of formalism.
- The level of formality increases as we move closer to the implementation level.
- Architecting education must be framework and standard agnostic, but architects must
have seen or used multiple frameworks and standards.
A Reference Architecture is an elaboration of company (or consortium) mission, vision and strategy. Such Reference Architecture facilitates a shared understanding across multiple products, organizations, and disciplines about the current architecture and the vision on the future direction.
A Reference Architecture is based on proven concepts. Most often preceding architectures are mined for these proven concepts. For architecture renovation and innovation validation and proof can be based on reference implementations and prototyping.
The main contribution of the architect is guidance of the design to obtain a high quality system that fits well in the customer and business context.
The architect knows:
What technology to select and why
Where to elicit and involve technology expertise
What the impact is of technology choices on system and context
In very large heterogeneous projects money is
the unifying metric for decision making.
An organization that is competent in systems architecting needs more than
competent system architects. The organization also needs a shared vision on architecting,
managers and engineers that are architecting aware, and support for architecting such as
processes, tools, and an organizational infrastructure.
Considerable experience is required to become a System Architect. While
education and coaching may shorten the time needed to become System Architect, there is
no substitute for experience.
Architect competence programs also bring value to participants that do not
finish the program or do not become a systems architect in the end. The broadened
perspective and the training of skills are of value in many roles in the organization. The
gained insight in architecting helps to share the role of architecting throughout the
- Architecture assessments must be broad enough and not be
limited to requirements
- Architecture assessors have to be system thinkers with eye
- Architecture assessments mitigate the risk of inbreeding by
- Every part of the description of an Architecture should be
understandable by directly related stakeholders. The high level
description of an architecture should be understandable by
- In practice, it is often asset reuse that implicitly causes
- Architecture patterns promise to be a natural way to achieve
- The decision to invest in architecture renovation is collaborative,
with both architects and business managers involved.
- Architects are Safe Guards for long running product lines.
They anticipate needs and prepare architectures within pragmatic constraints
of costs and risks. In this way, architects must prevent the stacking of
many pragmatic decisions, which could results in a big mess.
- Successful deployment requires an architect with:
the right socio-political behavior
the ability to cope with challenges induced by time aspect
supported by the right process and governance
a fit-for-purpose architecture (it solves the problem).
- Systems Integration as activity starts at the beginning
of development to identify unknowns and consequences of
uncertainties as early as possible. Systems integration includes
integration with the context of the system-of-interest.
- Systems Integration continues after product deployment, since
both context and system keep evolving. The system needs instrumentation
to support this ongoing integration.
- The systems integrator role is complementary to the systems architect
role. Systems integration requires many competences that in practice
cannot be found in a single person; Hence, systems integration needs
complementary roles to cover all required competences.
- It makes sense to architect agile. Agile architecting strives
for early validation and verification of the architecture, using
- Agile architecting requires a strong focus on quality attributes
of the system: early identification and definition, monitoring and
measuring, early validation, guidance of allocation and interfaces.
- Top-Down decisions have to be validated Bottom-Up, Bottom-Up decisions have to be validated Top-Down.
- Create understanding of a domain Bottom-Up; and use, check, refine and abstract this domain understanding Top-Down; keep iterating for mutual validation and inspiration.
- Life cycle is a criterion for system partitioning. Slow-changing, expensive-to-change system parts should be separated from fast-changing, flexible system parts or functionality.