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Quality Definition Factor

An Architect's definition of Quality

Specification of the "right" architecture depends on the accuracy of translation from qualitative stakeholder expectations into objective "quality" requirements.
  1. In today's marketplace, solution functionality and affordability are rarely differentiating; when they are it is only for a short period of time.
  2. Quality is the attribute that drives individuals to select one alternative over another despite relative similarities i functionality and cost.
  3. Architects must be able to establish and promote the definition of "quality" for a given set of objectives.

Some of the factors that drive Architecture and Design Quality are:

  1. Architecture Stability and Flexibility: The quality of the architecture definitions that are defined in architecture documents and supported by system management.
  2. Analysis and Design Capability: The skill and experience level of architecture and design teams. This includes the capability of communication and cooperation between the teams.
  3. Root Cause Analysis: Capability to learn from defects found during development, (e.g., analyzing defects, determining common causes (related to processes, tools and development environment, capabilities, management and organization, etc), and defining actions to prevent them from recurring).
  4. Requirements Performance: Result of the previous phase (i.e., specifying the products to be developed and the supporting activities such as requirements clarifications, reviews and inspections, and tracing).
  5. Project Management Performance: Definition, planning, tracking, and control of quality in the development projects and the delivered products.
  6. Process Management Performance: Defining and baselining the processes to be used for management and technical work. The support in operational usage of the processes for training, instructions, tools and templates and the availability of websites and experienced personnel.
  7. Architecture and Design Process Maturity: The quality of the defined and baselined architecture and design processes, including all supporting material such as training and templates.