The Architect's Blueprint: Bridging Business, Design, and Communication

The Architect's Blueprint: Bridging Business, Design, and Communication

We will dive into the crux of what it means to be an architect: mastering the architect's mindset. The shift from a developer or team leader's viewpoint to an architect's perspective is important. While technical tasks and development are crucial, an architect often views things from a broader perspective. This change is about shifting your viewpoint to see yourself as a strategic asset to the organization.

Step 1: Understanding the Business: The First Step to Architectural Mastery

Every professional within an organization, in theory, knows the company's operations. While a company employee might be aware of what they develop, and the vast product range, this theoretical knowledge isn't enough.

An architect's value to an organization hinges on understanding its business inside out. You should be familiar with its strengths, challenges, competitors, and growth strategies. With this comprehensive knowledge can you make informed architectural and technological decisions.

Step 2: Always See the Bigger Picture: Systems and Organizations

A frequent mistake architects make is viewing systems in isolation. But, in reality, every organization is a complex, dynamic entity. Architects must understand the system's integration into this larger entity and its strategic role. Always begin with an understanding of the business before delving into the architecture.

Step 3: Describing System Goals from Requirements

After gaining a deep understanding of the business, the next step is to examine the specific system at hand, particularly its goals. It's vital to differentiate between what the system is supposed to do (requirements) and the impact or effect it will have on the organization (goals).

For example, consider a client who gave clear system specifications. Upon deeper discussion about its role within the organization, it was evident the system wasn't needed as intended. The final product, after necessary changes, was more focused and efficient.

Here are a few examples of system goals:

  • Payroll Management System for a Tech Enterprise: Improving the compensation and benefits structure to retain top-tier engineers and developers, ultimately driving innovation and boosting market presence.

  • GIS System for Urban Safety Analysis: Boosting emergency services' efficiency in attending incidents, making the city a more appealing place to live, and indirectly bolstering the city council's reputation.

  • E-commerce Mobile App for Exclusive Deals: For a burgeoning business, the dual objectives are swift profit generation and luring potential stakeholders.

Understanding the Client in Architectural Work

Identifying the Client:

An architect must determine the true client they're working for. Although they might be part of the I.T. department and employed by the I.T. staff, the end-users of the application are the real clients. Decisions made by the architect should consider the impact on these end-users.

Practical Example: An online booking platform for conference rooms in a large corporation faced a dilemma: what if the server handling real-time room availability crashed? Initially, the system simply showed an error message to employees trying to book. However, a more intricate solution was devised which involved having a mirrored server that would step in when the primary server faced issues. This backup server retained a snapshot of the last-known room availabilities. As a result, employees could still make bookings even if they weren't in real-time. While this added complexity for the IT team managing the system (the architect's direct client), the staff members (client's client) greatly valued this fail-safe feature, reducing their booking-related frustrations.

Effective Communication in Architectural Roles

Speaking to Various Stakeholders: The key is understanding and catering to the interests of the person being spoken to.


CEO (Sameer):

  • Focused on business outcomes and financial implications.

  • Avoid technical terminologies.

  • Highlight how architecture supports business goals, like ensuring the system can handle high loads during peak sales times.

Project Manager (Aisha):

  • Primary interest: Project success.

  • Avoid discussing the latest tech trends and patterns.

  • Focus on how architectural decisions can speed up the project and save budget.

Team Leader (Faisal):

  • Tech enthusiast keeps up with the latest trends.

  • Engage him with discussions about the latest tech and potential implementation in projects.

Navigating the Digital Dimension!

Embrace the journey, keep iterating, and above all, revel in each moment of creation!

In between, why not dive into my GitHub? My handle is @zainuleb, where I showcase a myriad of intriguing projects. And hey, while you're navigating the digital domain, consider connecting with me on LinkedIn. Let's discuss groundbreaking tech, aspirations, or the hottest games in town.

For a splash of my tech-filled life with a twist of fun, you can find me on Instagram @zainuleb. Trust me, it's not just about algorithms and designs!

Till our next online adventure, stay curious, keep pushing boundaries, and always bear in mind: in a virtual era with boundless prospects, always choose empathy.