Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

In the first days of software development little thought was presented with to how the program applications and systems we built were architected. There have been several reasons because of this: firstly, software development being new, the idea hadn’t been considered, 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 different from building any other structure, as an example buildings and bridges. We can’t return and undo the damage done by having less foresight that led to badly architected applications and systems but as project managers we could avoid causeing the mistake in our next software development project.

Today most organizations whose core competencies include software development recognize the significance of architecture for their business and have satisfied this need by creating the role of architect and making this individual responsible for the architecture of all software applications and systems they develop. Even organizations whose core competencies don’t include software development, but who have invested heavily in IT, have created this role. These folks might be referred to as the Chief Architect, Head Architect, or Strategic Architect. Wikipedia identifies 3 different categories of architect with respect to the scope of these responsibilities: the enterprise architect who’s responsible for all an organization’s applications and systems, the perfect solution is architect who’s responsible for the architecture of a system made up of one or more applications and hardware platforms, and the applying architect whose responsibility is limited to one application. The category and amount of architects will often be constrained by how big the business and the amount of applications and systems it supports. Regardless of what the business you benefit calls them, the program architect includes a key role to play on your software project.

Your job as project manager of a software development project, where a software architect is in position, is to ensure that their work is properly defined and organized which means that your project receives maximum take advantage of their expertise. If the business does not need an architect in position you must identify someone on your team to fill that role. What is not acceptable would be to plan the project without the acknowledgment of the necessity or significance of the architect. This role requires as much understanding of the system components as you are able to, including software and hardware knowledge. It also requires deep technical understanding of the technology getting used, both hardware and software and strong analytical skills. The person (other than a software architect) who most likely possesses a skill set similar to this one, is a company or systems analyst. Depending upon the size and complexity of the present system, and your project, existing skill sets may not be sufficient to meet 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 fund working out, fine. If not, keep in mind that the skill set acquired by the trainee is going to be offered to the business after your project is completed and your project should not need to bear the full cost of the training.

Now that you’ve a qualified software architect engaged for your project, you need to plan that person’s tasks to take maximum advantage of these skills. I will suggest engaging the architect as in the beginning in the project as you are able to so that they may influence the definition of the applying or system being developed. The team that defines the business enterprise requirements to your project is going to be from the business enterprise side of the business and have deep understanding of how the business enterprise runs but little understanding of the present systems and technical options that come with the hardware and software that will deliver the solution. Having a software architect available during requirements gathering exercises will allow you to 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 perfect solution is to fit existing architecture or avoid solution weaknesses, after the fact. Involve the program architect in requirements gathering exercises as a consultant or SME (subject matter expert) who is able to mention risks in defining requirements and offer alternative solutions.

The key deliverable your architect is responsible for may be the architectural drawing. This is not actually a drawing but a variety of drawings and text. The drawings will represent the various components of the system and their relationship to one another. The writing will describe data elements, relations between various architectural elements, and any standards designers must adhere to. The drawing may be a new one to represent a brand new system, or it may be an upgrade of a current drawing to reflect the changes to a current system created by your project. The development of the architectural drawing is the initial design activity in your project schedule. The drawing is found in the same fashion that engineering staff and skilled craftsmen use an architectural drawing of a building or bridge.

Analysts and programmers will use the Business Requirements Document (BRD) to tell them what features and functions to create and the architectural drawing to tell them how their software must fit along with other software in the system, any constraints the system places on the design, standards the newest software must meet, and what critical data elements look like. The info in this drawing will depend on the perfect solution is chosen, the hardware chosen, the present system and the complexity of the project. For example, projects using an Object Oriented solution could have 4 layers: a user 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 necessitate more or fewer layers.

Software development projects which rely on a relational database to store and retrieve large volumes of data could have a database architect who’s responsible for the design of the database. The database architect should be described as a member of your project team and their design should be coordinated with the system architecture so that the data elements in the architectural drawing are defined the same way since they are in the database’s data dictionary. Database design is critical to system performance. Poor database design, or database design which does not support the applications utilizing it, will deliver a system with poor performance so database design and architectural design should be inputs together 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 is not the architect on your team. In many cases people other than another architect won’t have the capability to determine if the drawing contains all the information required by the project, or whether the system design is sound. They will be able to determine that each and every sounding 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 must be communicated to the analysts who’re responsible for producing design specifications.

The software architects role does not end with the production of the architectural drawing, indeed in some software development lifecycle (SDLC) methodologies this drawing is going to be produced iteratively. It may be produced in stages including the infrastructure layer first, the domain layer next, etc. or it may arquitetos Algarve be produced iteratively, one new version for every single iteration. Even projects using Waterfall SDLC methodology won’t necessarily produce a final drawing throughout the project planning phase since they don’t need to. The designers have to have a drawing that gives them with the information they want once they want it and you may want to start design use the drawing you’ve to be able to keep to schedule.

The architect must also 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 need to review the designs to determine compliance. The architect should be described as a person in any peer review teams reviewing design. This may not be possible, especially if you have to generally share an architect with another project or operations so at minimum the architect should review each design and ensure compliance making use of their architectural design, or identify gaps where it does not.

The hardware and os’s which are components of the system architecture are aspects of oversight for the architect. Projects which necessitate procurement of these materials, or outsourcing of the development of any applications, should engage the architect to subscribe to product and vendor selection criteria. Some architectural drawings may specify hardware and software with respect to the solution being implemented, by which case the information should be within the architectural drawing. Where requirements for these specific things are less well defined, the architect should make certain that selection criteria properly reflect their architectural requirements and that the statement of benefit any outsourced software is correctly written. In projects where software development work is outsourced, the architect’s role will be the same as if the job were being done in-house. Large projects which require the vendor to staff their team with a software architect needs to have their architectural design overseen by the architect for your project.

Finally, the architect also needs to be called upon to analyze any changes to software design or functionality that could result in a change in the architecture. Your architect will be the right person to analyze any request to determine the place where a change in the design of just one system component would affect other components of the architecture. After the architect has determined if your change in other components would be required, and what the character of that change would be, it’s around your design and build gurus to assess the price of that change.

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