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Maximize Your Business Impact as an Architect

April 2015 Presentation
Eltjo Poort (CGI)

This presentation covers key principles by which architects can prioritize architectural concerns and decisions based on economic arguments.


Software Engineering Institute




How can architects be most effective? What concerns and decisions should they focus on? And what should they postpone or leave to designers and coders? Practicing architects are often under pressure from stakeholders such as project and program managers and product owners to address the “concern of the day” or to finish deliverables according to fixed schedules and rigid methodologies. Blindly giving in to such pressure leaves key risks unaddressed and delays high-impact decisions, which threaten project success and product quality.

In this participatory session, we will discuss and exercise key principles for architects to prioritize architectural concerns based on economic aspects:

  • how to prioritize architectural concerns and decisions based on objective, economic arguments
  • how to justify your priorities to business stakeholders and increase your business impact  
  • how to prevent high-impact architectural concerns from remaining unaddressed due to schedule pressure

The principles can be applied in both agile (Scrum, SAFe) and more conventional settings. They help architects not only to maximize their economic impact by identifying the most important concerns and decisions to spend time and energy on but also to explain the rationale behind their priorities to stakeholders in business terms. The session is based on Risk- and Cost-Driven Architecture (RCDA), an approach that has been developed by CGI and has proven to support architects globally in a lean and agile manner. RCDA’s practices help architects create “just-enough architecture” in tight time frames. RCDA is a recognized architecture method in The Open Group’s architect certification program.