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The Architect’s Roles, Responsibilities and Skills

The architect is, simply, the person who creates and maintains the structure of a solution. When you apply this to the agile world, the architect must also enable the team to move forward in an agile process. The architect needs to consider five main points according to this post on Agile Architect: understanding the requirements, formulating the design, communicating the architecture, supporting developers, and verifying that implementation has occurred correctly. There is some granularity of course, as is the case in meeting the users' needs: you want to provide what the user wants, but perhaps not every wish. Identifying conflicting requirements and working out the best solution with the user falls into the architect's sphere. As with almost any role that interacts with multiple groups, communication plays a huge part in how well the architect performs: One of the architect's main jobs is communicating the architecture. He or she must become the solution's “champion”, selling the vision and keeping it alive in the face of challenges. Each group of stakeholders needs to understand how the architecture meets their requirements. This requires multiple representations of the architecture directed at different parties. Any architect must model to communicate, but an agile architect will follow the principles of agile modelling, and help the project to “travel light”. A take away from the post is how the architect is more of a visionary role than a technical one. An architect must truly be a champion of “big picture” thinking and the willingness to implement complex thinking an theory into an organisation.

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