Contextually-Driven System Architecture Reviews

Michael Dedolph, Levi Deal Consulting

When the World Trade Center collapsed, the telephone switching systems in the basement correctly diagnosed which lines were still working and continued to connect calls for several days using backup power. One factor contributing to this remarkable product reliability was the AT&T/Bell Labs practice of early systems architecture reviews. Michael Dedolph shares an architecture review method based on the Bell Labs Systems Architecture Review Board (SARB) process and discusses how that method was institutionalized and managed. The review method is a team process that uses a problem statement developed by the project as the basis for the review. The method is "low tech" and portable. SARB-style architecture reviews can be easily and flexibly tailored to your context. The flexibility of the method makes it suitable for many kinds of systems and problem domains. Take away an appreciation for the method and see if it might be useful in your organization.

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