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The Costing View of Architecture

May 2014 Presentation
Eltjo Poort (CGI)

Presentation at SATURN 2014. Delivery Breakdown View helps architects address important cost-related concerns and communicate the resolution of these concerns to stakeholders.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.

Abstract

All modern architecture documentation practices promote the use of multiple views to document how the architecture addresses various concerns of different stakeholders. So far, little attention has been paid to an important business concern: that of costing a solution. At CGI, we often have to architect and cost a solution in a very limited time frame, usually when answering a Request for Proposal within a hard deadline. One of the key objectives of Risk- and Cost-Driven Architecture (RCDA), CGI’s agile solution-architecting approach, is to focus the architect’s attention on economic aspects. In this context, we have developed a viewpoint that helps architects document their architectures in a way that lets them quickly establish the cost parameters: the Delivery Breakdown View. By combining guidance from the ISO 42010 Architecture Documentation standard with the Product Breakdown Structure known from project management methods, the Delivery Breakdown View helps architects address important cost-related concerns and communicate the resolution of these concerns to stakeholders. In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of costing in architecting, present the Delivery Breakdown View that we developed, and demonstrate its use in an architecture documentation template from CGI.