Assigning Architectural Control Responsibilities

An architect is one who designs something and then oversees, at a high level, its construction to make sure that the thing is built according to the blueprints originally developed.

In any IT project, you need people who have at least read the blueprints and are technically able to oversee those who are building the deliverable. In most IT implementations, this architectural oversight person is a team leader. By "read the blueprints," the implication isn 't that there' s an actual set of blueprints, but that in architectural terms this person has attended key project planning meetings, read the associated documentation, and understands what needs to be built. This person is empowered to stop team members from going down a path that ' s clearly out of line with the scope of the project and its stated deliverables.

Also, this person is responsible for making judgment calls that may arise in the building of the project.

Suppose that you' re in the position of providing architectural control. You ' re approached by a software developer who is puzzled by the question of whether to use an F THEN ELSE phrase in a particular piece of code or a CASE statement, where the code would evaluate multiple cases and then make a decision. He would have to nest several F statements underneath one another; although this is speedy in terms of its operation, the logic could get pretty hard to read. CASE statements, on the other hand, are easy to read but not nearly as efficient as F statements. There may be a minor slowdown in the code while the CASE statements are evaluated. As an architectural person, it' s up to you to figure out the best route to go.

Suppose, in another example, that you' re an architectural oversight person for a project that' s going to extract data from a set of Oracle databases. There' s a choice of using either pl-SQL statements or Java code to extract this data. The requirements may not necessitate a particular method by which you provide the data—in which case, it' s up to you to make the best architectural decision.

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