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Why Good Architects Act As Chameleons

May 2011 Presentation
Rik Farenhorst, Eelco Rommes

A presentation from SATURN 2011 that discusses case studies about different aspects of architecture work.


Software Engineering Institute


It is a common misunderstanding that the architect's major task to produce architectures, but the truth is that an architect should understand and change the behavior of the social system that actually produces the architecture. De Caluwé and Vermaak distinguish five ways of thinking about and reacting to change in organizations. Based on their theories, we have created a model that illustrates how architects can change their own "color" in order to provoke change in the organization. We map this color model to three different cases from our own experience as architecture consultants, analyze these cases, and share what we learned from our successes and mistakes. We claim that good architects should act as chameleons, and give recommendations on how to approach different kinds of stakeholders and how to deal with the various types of power, interests, needs, and conflicts that naturally arise in any organization.

This presentation was given at SATURN 2011 in Burlingame, CA.