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InfoQ Homepage News Presentation: Lessons Learned from Architecture Reviews

Presentation: Lessons Learned from Architecture Reviews

In this presentation, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock presents some practical lessons she has learned from doing architectural reviews. Many times projects are not delivered in time, or have quality problems or have an incomplete set of features due to architectural flaws. The reviews are meant to highlight existing risks and strengths of the architecture, and to reveal issues initially neglected.

The hardest to do 5 things Rebecca learned from reviews are:

  1. Rainy Day Scenarios. What do you do when things go wrong? Propose some rainy day scenarios with corresponding solutions.
  2. Merging Existing Systems. Many hidden requirements are in the heads of support or buried in custom code, which makes merging very difficult. Many times it is better to start clean with a new system rather than merging with another one.
  3. Describing Decisions. Try to explain the architectural decisions you made. That is easier to do with a constructive reviewer than with stakeholders.
  4. Overcoming Cognitive Biases. Cognitive biases are distortions in how people naturally tend to process and interpret information.
  5. Giving Advice that is Followed. The advice should come as recommendations, suggestions, and observations in a way that people listen to.

The entire presentation is 58 minutes long.

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