Expensive Architecture Is No Architecture

Some musings on the value of architecture…
(This post is originally from 2007 but never has been published IIRC – and it’s current as if i had written it today)

  • Developers sometimes claim that “[this] architecture is to expensive
  • Recently several architects claimed that “[the] architecture has to be enforced because otherwise no one would pay the extra cost
  • It seems, that even some architects think that architecture leads to more cost than benefits
  • From my point of view this attitude completely misses the point
  • IMHO the “form follows function” mantra attributed to the Bauhaus is true for information systems as well
  • An architecture that is motivated by the “right” goals it will pull more than its weight
  • Architectural principles always should be a means to an end – and that end should b made explicit. They are meant to address real problems in systems development.
  • The statement “It may be more expensive but it is what architecture demands” is a clear indication that either the scope of the observation is too narrow or – much more probable – the architecture is not an architecture but a bunch of rules far away from the real problems.

IMHO [as of 2015] the whole point of these musings is: If there is friction between development and architecture and the reason for this friction is that the architecture seems to be too expensive than that is an excellent opportunity to either re-evaluate the architecture (with real numbers and amounts and explicit assumptions) or to communicate the reasoning behind the architectural guidelines better.

And of course this is no one way road from architects to developers – it also sometimes pays off handsomely for development to make the incurred cost of architectural guidelines visible (of course also using real numbers and amounts and explicit assumptions)

So, how is your architecture? Does it pull it’s weight?

’till next time
  Michael Mahlberg

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