Making strategic architectural choices that will guide the architecting effort can often make or break a successful system implementation. The focus and deliverable of the architecting process is the architecture documents, motivating and describing the structure of the system through various views. This is however just one of several activities required for the creation of a good architecture. Different architectural approaches tend to bring out different degrees of system requirements, and evaluating alternatives or performing architectural trade-off analyses should be part of the architectural phase.

Building a conceptual architecture can provide a decomposition of current systems without going into to much details. Key components and architectural elements can be identified, including relationships and architectural functions. Some of the key activities can include:

  • Determining the system’s architectural requirements
  • Defining a high-level structure of the environment by identifying components, their responsibilities and relationships
  • Validate that the architecture meets stakeholder goals, and assess the possible impact

A successful architecture should be:

  • good – technically sound and clearly represented
  • right – meet the needs and objectives of key stakeholders, and
  • successful – actually useable in developing systems that deliver strategic advantage