Recently, I was asked to do an architecture review on a couple of projects - one was just getting started, and the other was a PoC demoed at a user conference. Unfortunately, as with too many “agile” projects, existing architecture documentation could fit on a post-it note.
This situation was explainable, but something I wanted to change going forward. Given these were cloud-native projects looking at newer PaaS services, I concede that it is hard to know the entire architecture up front. However, creating a simple Lucidchart diagram with ~10 icons doesn’t take long, so I took my best guess and made one for them. I am OK with emergent design distributed amongst the team, but there needs to be a way for architecture documentation to happen.
I remembered something from a ThoughtWorks blip called Lightweight Architecture Decision Records and did some google searching. Distribute Design Authority with Architecture Decision Records | Agile Alliance is a good article on the topic with a good set of references (for which I added links):
- Architecture Decision Record (ADR). (n.d.). Retrieved July 2, 2018, from https://github.com/joelparkerhenderson/architecture_decision_record
- Keeling, M. (2017). Design It! From Programmer to Software Architect. Raleigh, NC: Pragmatic Programmers.
- Keeling, M., & Runde, J. (2017). Architecture Decision Records in Action. SATURN. Denver.
- Nygard, M. (2011, November 15). Documenting Architecture Decisions. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from http://thinkrelevance.com/blog/2011/11/15/documenting-architecture-decisions
- Runde, J., Gala, C., & Keeling, M. (2018). Architectural Hoisting: Or How I Learned to Stop Writing Breaking Code and Love the Architecture. SATURN. Plano.
- Tyree, J., & Akerman, A. (2005). Architecture Decisions: Demystifying Architecture. IEEE Software , 22 (2), 19-27.
Anyone using Architecture Decision Records? If so, are you storing them on a wiki, or alongside your source code? What about diagrams - Lucidchart (easy to access/collaborate) or something like https://www.draw.io/ where you can check in the .xml into your repository?