Risks, trade offs, sensitivity points and benefits of the architecture become
clear with assessments. Most importantly, an assessment sets the stage for a target state solution
architecture. An objective, independent and instrumented architecture assessment is an invaluable
tool. Understanding the system landscape is made easier via standards-based post-vizualization and
supporting documentation. System architecture archeology is key to the discovery of unknown systems
and also helps in communicating the architecture to stakeholders and executive leadership.
Evaluation of the architecture should not result in 'Good' or 'Bad'. An assessment should
highlight where the system is at risk against quality attributes. A risk-based trade-off analysis is what typically guides my architectural assessment.
An architecture assessment can be conducted with scope in mind that can vary. A functional capability assessment or
specific cross-cutting concerns (e.g. Integration, Security, Business Capability). Measure of Technical Debt against target strategy is important.
Enterprise architecture is the broadest is scope, it is an all-encompassing highest level of
abstraction review of the IT delivery to business capabilities. It is a risk-based capability-aware
architecture assessment. This assessment primarily traces business needs with the IT delivery
roadmap. Solution architectures assessments encompass the entire end-to-end IT solution. A full
review of a dynamic IT landscape that will assess the current trajectory of the project, program,
department and/or company. I have attended course work, and received certifications from the coveted
Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Specifically I have studied the
Architecture Tradeoff and Analysis Method (ATAM) in detail. Learning from it, and my own
professional experiences I have created a customized and high speed iterative architecture review
process. In practice I currently chair the architecture review board where I govern over a weekly
architecture review meeting cadence.
In addition, I also sit on the review board of enterprise architects. Every week I review
solutions that are internal to my domain where I provide guidance and mentoring to the architects
and I also serve on the review board of projects that fall outside of my domain. Over the past
several years I have standardized on common design patterns in large scale system architecture.
Interestingly I have observed how well intentioned architectures that are layered still suffer from
entropy over time.
I have been passionate about quality attributes, quality, code quality and delivery. In 2002 I instituted a JUNIT testing paradigm when Unit Testing was an emerging concept. In 2003 I delived deeply into Static Analysis with automated risk based assessments. Quality checkpoints and code inspection were my focus in a major project.
Code coverage, automated builds, continuous delivery and high speed software execution has been my most recent focus.