Crucial Assets — The program Architect

In early days of software development little thought was handed to how the software applications and systems we built were architected. There have been several reasons with this: firstly, software development being new, the style hadn’t been looked at, and secondly we didn’t realize how important architecture was to the price of maintaining our applications and systems. Upon sober reflection, we probably needs to have foreseen the necessity for planned architecture and architects because building software isn’t radically distinctive from building every other structure, for example buildings and bridges. We can’t return and undo the damage done by having less foresight that resulted in badly architected applications and systems but as project managers we are able to avoid making this mistake inside our next software development project.

Today most organizations whose core competencies include software development recognize the importance of architecture for their business and have satisfied this need by creating the role of architect and making this person accountable for the architecture of all of the software applications and systems they develop. Even organizations whose core competencies don’t include software development, but who’ve invested heavily in IT, have created this role. These individuals may be called the Chief Architect, Head Architect, or Strategic Architect. Wikipedia identifies 3 different categories of architect with regards to the scope of the responsibilities: the enterprise architect who is accountable for all an organization’s applications and systems, the solution architect who is accountable for the architecture of a system composed of more than one applications and hardware platforms, and the application architect whose responsibility is restricted to one application. The category and quantity of architects will most likely be constrained by how big is the corporation and the number of applications and systems it supports. Regardless of what the corporation you work for calls them, the software architect includes a key role to play on your own software project.

Your job as project manager of a pc software development project, where a pc software architect is set up, is to ensure that their work is properly defined and organized so that your project receives maximum take advantage of their expertise. If the corporation does not need an architect set up you will have to identify someone on your own team to fill that role. What is not acceptable would be to plan the project without the acknowledgment of the necessity or importance of the architect. top architects in Florida  This role requires just as much knowledge of the machine components as possible, including software and hardware knowledge. In addition, it requires deep technical knowledge of the technology being used, both hardware and software and strong analytical skills. The person (other than a pc software architect) who most probably possesses a expertise similar to this one, is a company or systems analyst. Dependant on the size and complexity of the existing system, and your project, existing skill sets may possibly not be sufficient to meet up your project’s needs. There are ample training opportunities available so choose one that most closely suits your requirements and have your candidate attend. If your project has adequate budget to pay for the training, fine. Or even, keep in mind that the expertise acquired by the trainee will undoubtedly be open to the corporation after your project is completed and your project should not need to bear the total cost of the training.

Now that you’ve a qualified software architect engaged for the project, you need to plan that person’s tasks to take maximum advantage of the skills. I would suggest engaging the architect as in early stages in the project as possible so that they can influence the meaning of the application or system being developed. The team that defines the business enterprise requirements to your project will undoubtedly be from the business enterprise side of the corporation and have deep knowledge of how the business enterprise runs but little knowledge of the existing systems and technical top features of the hardware and software that may deliver the solution. Having a pc software architect available during requirements gathering exercises will help you define requirements that leverage existing system and solution platform strengths and avoid weaknesses. Leaving their input till a later phase exposes your project to the risk of re-engineering the solution to suit existing architecture or avoid solution weaknesses, after the fact. Involve the software architect in requirements gathering exercises as a consultant or SME (subject matter expert) who are able to point out risks in defining requirements and offer alternative solutions.

The main element deliverable your architect is accountable for may be the architectural drawing. This is not actually a drawing but a mixture of drawings and text. The drawings will represent the various the different parts of the machine and their relationship to 1 another. The writing will describe data elements, relations between various architectural elements, and any standards designers must adhere to. The drawing might be a new one to represent a fresh system, or it may be an update of a current drawing to reflect the changes to a current system made by your project. The development of the architectural drawing is the initial design activity in your project schedule. The drawing is found in exactly the same fashion that engineering staff and skilled craftsmen use an architectural drawing of a building or bridge.

Analysts and programmers will utilize the Business Requirements Document (BRD) to share with them what features and functions to design and the architectural drawing to share with them how their software must fit along with other software in the machine, any constraints the machine places on the design, standards the brand new software must meet, and what critical data elements look like. The data in this drawing depends on the solution chosen, the hardware chosen, the existing system and the complexity of the project. Like, projects having an Object Oriented solution can have 4 layers: a person interface layer (the layer the user sees), an application layer (where the job is done), a domain layer (where business logic is applied), and an infrastructure layer (for logging messaging, etc.). Other solutions may demand more or fewer layers.

Software development projects which depend on a relational database to store and retrieve large volumes of data can have a database architect who is accountable for the design of the database. The database architect should be considered a member of your project team and their design must certanly be coordinated with the machine architecture so the data elements in the architectural drawing are defined exactly the same way because they are in the database’s data dictionary. Database design is critical to system performance. Poor database design, or database design which doesn’t support the applications using it, will deliver a system with poor performance so database design and architectural design should be inputs to one another to yield a well integrated system with the performance characteristics required.

The architectural drawing should be approved by the project sponsor, project steering committee and the organization’s enterprise architect/chief architect/head architect where see your face isn’t the architect on your own team. In many cases people other than another architect will not have the capability to determine whether the drawing contains all the info required by the project, or whether the machine design is sound. They will have a way to determine that each and every category of information has been addressed and that the drawing meets any requirements defined for it in the Project Charter, Statement of Work (SOW), or scope statement. After the drawing has been approved it should be communicated to the analysts who are accountable for producing design specifications.

The program architects role doesn’t end with the production of the architectural drawing, indeed in a few software development lifecycle (SDLC) methodologies this drawing will undoubtedly be produced iteratively. It might be stated in stages including the infrastructure layer first, the domain layer next, etc. or it may be produced iteratively, one new version for each iteration. Even projects using Waterfall SDLC methodology won’t necessarily produce a final drawing during the project planning phase because they don’t need to. The designers have to have a drawing that gives them with the info they require once they require it and you may want to start design assist the drawing you’ve in order to keep to schedule.

The architect must make certain that the design captured in Functional specifications and detail design documents conforms to the constraints placed upon it by the architectural drawing. To get this done they have to review the designs to determine compliance. The architect should be considered a member of any peer review teams reviewing design. This may possibly not be possible, especially if you have to share an architect with another project or operations so at minimum the architect should review each design and ensure compliance with their architectural design, or identify gaps where it will not.

The hardware and systems which are the different parts of the machine architecture are areas of oversight for the architect. Projects which demand procurement of these products, or outsourcing of the development of any applications, should engage the architect to donate to product and vendor selection criteria. Some architectural drawings may specify hardware and software with regards to the solution being implemented, where case the info must certanly be included in the architectural drawing. Where requirements for these things are less well defined, the architect should make sure selection criteria properly reflect their architectural requirements and that the statement of work for any outsourced software is correctly written. In projects where software development work is outsourced, the architect’s role would be the same as if the job were being done in-house. Large projects which require the seller to staff their team with a pc software architect needs to have their architectural design overseen by the architect for the project.

Finally, the architect should also be called upon to analyze any changes to software design or functionality that might create a change in the architecture. Your architect would be the right person to analyze any request to determine the place where a change in the design of one system component would effect on other the different parts of the architecture. After the architect has determined if your change in other components would be required, and what the nature of this change would be, it’s around your design and build gurus to assess the price of that change.

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