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Architect and Human Measure; the integration role

Retailer or
Provider

Factory

Product

User

Architect

Project
Leader
product
documentation

Product
manager

Engineers

design

Gerrit Muller
Embedded Systems Institute
Den Dolech 2 (Laplace Building 0.10) P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven The Netherlands
gerrit.muller@embeddedsystems.nl

Abstract
The architect plays an essential role in making solutions, which fit with the human
measure. During the long product creation chain the human measure is easily lost.
The role of the architect is to integrate understanding of the customer world with
know-how of the solution (technology) world. The architect quickly iterates many
stakeholder viewpoints to achieve a satisfying solutions from many, seemingly
conflicting, viewpoints.

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version: 0.2

status: planned

21st February 2008

Factory Product Retailer or Provider User Architect Project Leader product documentation Product manager Engineers design Figure 2: Product Creation Cycle One cause of this problem is the long chain of activities which results in a product. This is illustrated by figure 1. which are often way too difficult to program for ordinary (non-technical) people. 2 Illustration of the problem A depressed B desparate C hysteric Figure 1: Did you ever program a VCR? Many products have characteristics which are determined by technology push rather than user need. This long chain of activities also involves many Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure.1 Introduction This article is written as part of a collective effort to write a book about ”ICT and the Human Measure”. Take for instance most video recorders. describing ”the role of the architect”.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 1 . It will become one chapter of this book. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0. as shown in figure 2. For that reason the problem statement is short and illustrative only.

with many human concerns. ranging from potential customers. the human users.different stakeholders. perceptions et cetera. Both figures 2 and 3 already hint at the crucial role played by the architect by architecting the solution. Opinions use Devices From Fuzzy to SMART Appliances Architecting Analysis. Definition Technology requires Engineering Verification Figure 3: Bridging the gap between Human Experience and Engineering A lot of the stakeholders ”live” in the engineering world. and product managers to development engineers and production personnel. Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure. which addresses a lot technology concerns. feel Humans Experience have Emotions. Figure 3 visualizes the gap between those stakeholders. Sense.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 2 . such as emotions. feelings. smell. The other end of the stakeholder chain. live in the real world. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0.

Or in even more popular terms: do the right things and do the things right Understanding Describing Guiding What How Why Do the right things Do the things right Figure 4: Architecting visualized Architecting is a job which is done by all members of the product creation team. At least 5 views are required for guidance: • • • • • functional decomposition construction decomposition allocation of functions to construction elements infrastructure integrating concepts Figure 6 visualizes these 5 how views. looking at the problem from many different viewpoints. The how is guided by the architecture. Architects do this job by frequent viewpoint hopping. The how of the product is created by many specialists. Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure. based on intention and context understanding) in combination with bottom up (constraint aware. sampling the problem and solution space in order to build up an understanding of the business. identifying opportunities. what and how A useful top level decomposition of an architecture is provided by the socalled ”CAFCR” model. which includes (despite the name) also the non functional requirements. as shown in figure 4.3 What is architecting? Architecting in product creation spans from understanding the why. where the conceptual view is changing less in time than the fast changing realization (Moore’s law!). as shown in figure 5. The how of the product is described in the conceptual and realization view. know how based). Top down (objective driven.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 3 . The functional view describes the what of the product. The job of the architect is to integrate these views in a consistent and balanced way. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0. via describing the what to guiding the how. however the architect is responsible for the consistency and balance of why. The customer objectives view and the application view provide the why from the customer.

in order to get a valuable. usable and feasible product. Functional Decomposition 3. 1.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 4 . Choice of integrating concepts Figure 6: Guiding how by providing five how-viewpoints Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure. networking scheduler MPEG DSP filesystem Device abstraction OS CPU Resource usage RAM etc Exception handling 5.What does Customer need in Product and Why? Customer Customer What How Customer Application Product How Product What Functional Conceptual context intention objective opportunities constraint know how objectives understanding Realisation driven awareness based Figure 5: Five viewpoints for an architecture. The task of the architect is to integrate all these viewpoints. 2. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0. Infrastructure Allocation Construction Decomposition view play audio video tuner drivers framebuffer Performance browse TXT etc. acquisition compress encoding display decompress decoding storage Pipeline 4.

see figure 8. Current Architects Required Architects l l n n er io ua na tio m s at pt tio to tive lica s e i c s l n a p nc cu jec fu re ap co ob Figure 8: Required architect know-how per view. Potential architects grow by stepwise broadening their scope. However the primary responsibility for the balance and consistency of requirements. The role of the architect is to (proactively) integrate the work of all the specialists. it prevents the need for an impossible broad and heavy superarchitect. Most current architects have a dominant technical view on the world and should acquire more know-how from the customer world. see figure 9. The intermediate roles are quite important in complex systems.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 5 . This broad profile of the architect does not evolve automatically. in order to obtain the balance and maintain the consistency. This role requires sufficient know-how in the five views. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0. Figure 7 shows the architect meddling with the work performed by all teammembers. typical for current architects and the preferred profile. specification and design is owned by the architect.4 The architect specialist software specialist electronics specialist optics specialist mechanics specialist manufacturing specialist service specialist application specialist marketing meddling architect team full of heroes Figure 7: The architect integrating all specialist teamplayers The architecting function is ideally performed by every teammember. Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure.

The system architecture homepage. date: June 12.2. http://www.all-round specialist specialist depth of knowledge breadth of knowledge system architect aspect architect root knowledge Figure 9: The architect maintains technical roots References [1] Gerrit Muller. no changelog yet Gerrit Muller Architect and Human Measure. 2001 changed by: Gerrit Muller • Created. the integration role 21st February 2008 version: 0. date: October 22.2 Embedded Systems Institute page: 6 . 2002 changed by: Gerrit Muller • minor change Version: 0.nl/index. gaudisite. 1999. History Version: 0.html.