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Creating, Reviewing, and Succeeding with Architecture Decision Records

May 2019 Presentation
Ken Power (Independent Consultant)

This presentation, drawing on experiences with three different product lines, shares the motivation for trying Architecture Decision Records to preserve decisions.


Software Engineering Institute




Some of the decisions that architects make are more consequential and higher impact than others and need to be preserved. This workshop session shares the motivation that led to trying Architecture Decision Records (ADRs) for preserving decisions. It draws from experiences with multiple large-scale, global organizations and system architectures. Building on established work with ADRs from other authors and practitioners, Powers presents a summary of experiences using ADRs with teams from three different product lines. He shares examples of challenges encountered when adopting and using ADRs and provides participants with hands-on practice creating and reviewing ADRs.

Participants will

  • get options for structuring and tailoring ADR templates, including examples of tailoring ADRs with different teams
  • understand the types of decisions for which ADRs are appropriate and what decisions might be better suited to a different medium
  • learn what to consider for creating, storing, and reviewing ADRs
  • learn what to consider when working with distributed teams in multiple geographies
  • get pointers to other work in the area of ADRs
  • learn how to foster a culture of valuing ADRs