SATURN 2011 Theme: Architecture Is Not Just for Architects (Paul Clements)

To me, “architecture is not just for architects” sums up the reason that architecture is worth studying. I have long been interested in how architecture reaches out to other phases of software and system development life cycles, and into organizational structures and business communities as well. The “architecture business cycle” that Len Bass, Rick Kazman, and I write about in our book Software Architecture in Practice exemplifies this. It shows how architectures influence, and in turn are influenced by, business forces, technical and technological forces, and environmental forces. Our work in describing the relationship between architecture and business led to the PALM method for eliciting business goals and tying them to architectural forces.

Earlier work on architecture and organization led to the SEI’s Architecture Competence Assessment for organizations. This year, I’m leading an effort to study and enrich the relationship between architecture and testing. All of these connections highlight the role and power and reach of architecture far beyond the architect’s office.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to examine this topic further at SATURN 2011.

- Paul Clements, SEI

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