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Themes for Architecture Success

May 2011 Presentation
William Koscho, William Ries

This presentation from SATURN 2011 examines the cultural infrastructure that underlies successful architectural initiatives.


Software Engineering Institute


Our experience shows that simply establishing the structures and relationships of a system is not enough for architecture success; a few overarching themes must be present. There are published assessment frameworks, architecture maturity models, and other tools that discuss competencies and processes present in mature architecture organizations. This presentation supports such findings and describes the deeper cultural infrastructure underlying successful architecture initiatives. This cultural infrastructure is described in terms of four major themes: Sponsorship, Common Goals, Decision-Making Mindset, and Trust. We present these four themes, a tool for assessing where organizations may have gaps, and techniques for the architect to facilitate closing those gaps. These techniques are based on our experiences, but we plan to validate them through a survey of other practicing architects. This presentation applies to audiences in different architecture disciplines and at varying organizational levels; it also applies broadly to those in both change agent and management roles.

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