Three C's of Architecture

I often practice, speak, and write about what I like to call the "Three C's of Architecture". These are as follows:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Clarity

Communication is all about effectively communicating idea, concepts, issues, and solutions to stakeholders. By the way, stakeholders include anyone involved or interested in the project or its outcome, including the developers. For example, how many of you generate lengthy Word documents or email architecture decisions? Guess what? Those are most likely ignored. As an architect, the most effective way to communicate you ideas is using a whiteboard in a face-to-face meeting. Communication is all about how effective it is.


Collaboration is all about getting stakeholders involved in the architecture process and solicit ideas and feedback early and often. Notice the key words here: Solicit ideas early and often. Too many times architects sit there and wait for feedback from stakeholders. No, no, no. As as architect, you need to go out and solicit those ideas. Generally speaking, people will either agree or disagree with your decisions, but they will not approach you directly - you need to go to them. Do this early in the architecture process when things are easier to change, and do it often. This one pays off in spades. Trust me.


Clarity is all about articulating your architecture solution in clear and concise terms as appropriate to each stateholder. How do you communicate your architecture? Do you have a always-ready architecture presentation available for each type of stakeholder? If not, this would be something to strive for. The ability - at an instant- to describe *concisely* your architecture within the right context for that stakeholder at a moments notice is truly the mark of a successful architect.


© Mark Richards 2016