A software development project requires a meticulous assessment on the overall architecture. Good architecture should help people to understand that they are in the right track, when it comes to realizing business solutions and customers’ vision. Here are other reasons why architecture assessment is needed in software development projects:
- Objectives will be reinforced: By assessing the architecture, we could make sure that it matches with the predetermined business strategy and customers’ vision. Architecture is not created based on latest trends. It addresses basic principles. Although it is acceptable to incorporate elements of latest trends, we shouldn’t astray from the objectives defined by the architecture. Architecture should be derived from functional requirement and it should work in concert with non-functional requirements.
- Current state can be realized better: Architecture assessment should happen at multiple times during a project lifecycle. Ideally, the first assessment should take place before the actual development. As the development project progresses, we will be affected by pressures and timeline crunches. These assessments should allow us to identify lack of scalability, maintainability problems, performance problems and others. Assessments can help us to take stock on the way the architecture is implemented. About half of development projects deviated due to latest changes that don’t really match the original architecture
- Unknown risks are identified and known problems are addressed: There are problems along the development project and we could find many different risks. Bugs could be generated during the development phase and quick fixes can be implemented to provide short term solutions. These short term fixes could be implemented until the software deteriorates and in some case, it needs to be rewritten from scratch. In this case, when problems start to crop up, it is a good idea to perform another architecture analysis task.
- Long term strategic roadmap will be defined better: Long term strategic roadmap is another tool that will prevent the development team from deviating too far. However, it is important to make sure that the roadmap perfectly matches the architecture. Good strategic roadmap will address the problematic areas and permanent solutions can be created. This is useful when we want to stop implementing dozens of quick fixes in the development process,
- ROI will be realized: Clients are investing a lot of money for the software and it is important to make sure that they get the value for the money invested. In many cases, solutions can’t be achieved because the team doesn’t implement the architecture. After an architecture assessment session, it is important to determine whether clients will still able to derive the proper value. Giving tangible results to customers is the only best way to create and improve confidence.
To achieve desired results, architecture for the software development project should be focused, crisp and perfectly aligned to the overall business requirements. In this case, we should be able to proportionally grow with the business and it is important that the architecture stays relevant.