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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know by Richard Monson-Haefel

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Chapter 17. Business Drives

Dave Muirhead is a veteran software craftsman and business technologist, and is an owner and principal consultant of Blue River Systems Group, LLC (BRSG), a Denver-based lean software development and technology strategy consulting firm.

Dave Muirhead
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IN THE CONTEXT OF BUSINESS ENTERPRISE application development, an architect must act as a bridge between the business and technology communities of an organization, representing and protecting the interests of each party to the other, often mediating between the two, but allowing the business to drive. The business organization's objectives and operating realities should be the light in which an architect leads technology-oriented decision making.

Businesses routinely plan for and articulate a specific, desired return on investment (ROI) before undertaking a software development initiative. The architect must understand the desired ROI, and by implication, the limits of the value of the software initiative to the business, so as to avoid making technology decisions that could cause the opportunity to be outspent. ROI should serve as a major piece of objective context in the give-and-take conversations with the business about the value of a feature versus the cost of delivering that feature, and with the development team about technical design and implementation. For example, the architect must be careful to represent ...

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