Arthur Wright, a software architect from Credit Suisse, wrote an interesting article in an issue of the IEEE Software magazine, called: Lessons Learned: Architects Are Facilitators, Too! He describes a number of divergent behaviours causing the architecture to fragment through unauthorised interfaces, ill-considered technologies and protest designs. The article is an ‘anti-pattern’ to Conway’s Law. The form and structure of an architecture is often – when you deal with a certain level of complexity – closer related to the (human) organisational communication patterns and structure then a direct realisation of the (wishful) thinking of an architect – competent or not….
As Wright points out, technical skills are important, but if you cannot convince people to collaborate and follow your ‘architectural vision’ then those skills really aren’t to much use. Your skills as an architect needs to go ‘beyond the tools of the trade‘ including knowing how to ‘visualise your architecture‘ and be prepared to have the ‘software is not a building‘ conversation. Wright also provides a useful list of SWOT and cause-‘n’-effect analysis techniques.
If you are in a reading mood then I’d suggest reading some of my previous blog posts – all related to this topic: