Architecture Anti-Patterns: Pattern #2 – Groundhog Day

Anti-Pattern Name: Groundhog Day
General Form:
Important architectural decisions that were once made get lost, forgotten or are not communicated effectively.
Symptoms and Consequences:

  • People forget or don’t know a decision was made.
  • The same decision is made more than once, possibly differently.
  • New people joining the project don’t understand why a decision was made.

Refactored Solution:

  • Capture important decisions in the “Architectural Decisions” work product.
  • Ensure a process is in place for making and ratifying decisions (maybe a Design Authority responsibility).
  • Ensure decisions get known about by all the right people.

See Pattern #1

Architecture Anti-Patterns: Pattern #1 – Architecture by e-mail

Anti-patterns seem to be going a bit out of vogue these days. I like them as a way of capturing our occasional follies. I will periodically record some of them here starting with Architecture by e-mail.

Anti-Pattern Name: Architecture by e-mail

General Form:
Large numbers of e-mails with long chains attached are sent between architects and designers which encompass important architectural decisions.

Symptoms and Consequences:

  • People spend a lot of time on e-mail rather than focussing on work products or deliverables.
  • Important information communicated via e-mail is lost or ends up being stored on individuals workstations.

Refactored Solution:

  • Capture important decisions in the right place (e.g. an Architectural Decisions work product and use this as the vehicle for discussing options.
  • Use meetings or conference calls to discuss options and drive out decisions.