Project Skills


The road to partnerships begins with

  • Establishing alignment
    • Finding the right partners
    • Finding the thought leaders
    • Knowing the influencers
    • Establishing trusted advisers
    • Leveraging community review
    • Aligning a shared vision
  • Establishing trust
    • Establishing open disclosure
    • Avoiding overcommitment
    • Learning to occasionally say no
  • Establishing context
    • Understanding the nature of the partnership
    • Being knowledgeable of the business context
    • Framing technical decisions with a partnership
    • Realizing that technical decisions are political decisions
    • Learning to sell with a context
    • Having your partners’ backs
    • Realizing there is safety in numbers
  • Establishing collaboration
    • Bringing value to the table
    • Being willing to be a mentor and knowing when to seek a mentor
    • Recognizing oppourtunities
    • Enabling ideation
  • Establishing relationships
    • Being more than just about business
    • Making deposits before you begin withdrawing
    • Leveraging external relationships
    • Overcoming bad experiences from the past
    • Avoiding caustic members of the organization


The road to discovery begins with

  • Understanding your customer
    • Partnering with sales, marketing, and new product development
    • Visualizing your products from the vantage point of the customer
    • Preparing for customer visits
    • Meeting with customers
    • Recapping information learned from customer visits
    • Focusing on capturing the voice of the customer
    • Seeking to delight the customer
  • Understanding the market in which your products compete
    • Learning about your customers’ customers
    • Discovering where your customers are willing to spend money
    • Keeping an eye on the competition
    • Listening for themes across customers
  • Understanding your business
    • Learning what your business wants to do
    • Personalizing your company’s goal
    • Developing a business context for decision making


The road to conceptualization begins with

  • Ideation with bussiness partnerships
  • Getting involved as early as possible in the process
  • Concept formulation
    • Understanding the language of the customer
    • Developing domain models
    • Understanding the context of the customer
    • Committing cautiously when you are the new kid on the block
    • Visualizing the concept
  • Concept reification
    • Developing a minimum viable product
    • Experimenting with prototypes
    • Establishing assumptions
    • Establishing essential capabilities and customer roles
    • Reifying with customers
  • Concept evolution
    • Being a student of history
    • Embracing multiple perspectives
    • Recognizing adjacent opportunities


The road to estimation begins with

  • Understanding the purpose of the estimate being sought
  • Understanding the project context
  • Understanding the estimating process
  • Developing an architectural approach
  • Knowing the estimating strategies and principles
  • Knowing how to bring it all together


The road to management begins with

  • Striving toward technology excellence
  • Delivering projects
  • Resolving issue
  • Partnering with executives
  • Managing your time
  • Grooming technical talent
  • Enhancing your skill set

Technology Skills

Platform development

The road to platform development begins with

  • Managing platform capabilities
    • Defining the set of platform objectives
    • Defining the set of platform capabilities
    • Focusing on leverageable capabilities
    • Developing a strong conceptual model
    • Embracing APIs, configuration, and eventing as the keys to the platform
  • Focusing on the platform ecosystem
    • Konwing the platform users
    • Understanding platform ownership
    • Understanding platform management
    • Driving platform development
    • Acknowledging platform costs
    • Managing platform quality
    • Understanding platform integration
  • Guiding the platform growth through principles

Architetectural Perspective

The road to architectural perspective begins with

  • Knowing and understanding architectural principles
  • Knowing and understanding key areas of architectural concern
  • Creating architectural artifacts to bring clarity to what is being created


The road to governance begins with

  • Getting management support and sponsorship to do governance activities
  • Understanding and embrancing the governance and the underlying principles
  • Using governance as a mechanism to help guide both the architecture and its associated systems
  • Focusing on creating value for the business, not undue process

The key is to find the right balance of governance and help mitigate risks, help reduce costs, and help promote leverage for the business.


The road to konw-how begins with

  • Engaging in activities that increase your know-how
  • Expanding the basis of your knowledge
  • Staying current with the directions of the industry
  • Filling in any gaps that are critical to your area of responsibility
  • Staying passionate about software

Software architecture is a great job and requires broad, active know-how to be successful in decision making. The great challenge is to balance the incessant demands on your time with the need to stay relevant. There will always be far more things to do than you can possibly get done. The keys are to

  • Focus on what will provide high value to the business
  • Avoid major misses that will make executives unhappy
  • Follow the areas you are naturally passionate about
  • Surround yourself with experts and maintain a strong professional network

Visionary Skills

Techology Innovation

The road to technology innovation begins with

  • Being aware of the trends
  • Aligning with the business
  • Engaging in strategic research
  • Using innovation principles
  • Being a pragmatic technology innovator
    Watching and following trends can be fun and exciting. They can easily distract you from the job at hand. However, they are also the eyes into the future that may provide opportunity or peril. Architects need to be familiar with the trends that are swirling around them and approach them with caution.
    Technology innovation is a critical aspect of soft ware architecture. Learning when and where to introduce new and potentially disruptive technologies into the business is essential for business growth and operational stability.

Strategic Roadmapping

The path to roadmapping begins with

  • Understanding the elements of roadmapping
  • Leveraging the roadmapping strategies
  • Understanding the roadmapping principles
  • Knowing where roadmaps are best used
  • Being observant of new risks
  • Socializing the roadmap
  • Knowing your role in roadmap development
  • Celebrating milestone successes
    For architects, roadmaps are an essential communication tool for helping to establish a vision of what needs to be accomplished and its approximate sequencing. When the business and architecture are on the same page regarding where a product or platform is going, this partnership can help propel the success of the business.

Entrepreneurial Execution

The road to entrepreneurial execution begins with

  • Understanding the elements of entrepreneurial execution
    • Entrepreneurial spirit
    • Calculated risk taking
    • Delivering results
  • Using entrepreneurial execution principles as guidance
    • Affordable Loss Principle
    • Lemonade Principle
    • Patchwork Quilt Principle
    • Bird-in-the-Hand Principle
    • Pilot-in-the-Plane Principle
    • Seize the moment
    • Follow your passion
    • Learn to pivot
    • Learn by doing and making mistakes
    • Seek feedback
    • Seek leverage
  • Architecting with entrepreneurial execution