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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know by Richard Monson-Haefel

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Chapter 85. Make a Strong Business Case

Yi Zhou is currently the chief software architect in a well-known biotech company, and specializes in designing the software platform for medical devices and personalizing disease management. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in all aspects of the software development life cycle, and excels in business-technology alignment and strategic planning, process improvement, architecture and framework design, team building and management, and consulting.

Yi Zhou
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AS A SOFTWARE ARCHITECT, have you had a hard time getting your architecture project well funded? The benefits of software architecture are obvious for architects, but are mythical for many stakeholders. Mass psychology tells us that “seeing is believing” is the strongest belief for most people. At the early phase of the projects, however, there is little to demonstrate to convince stakeholders of the value of sound software architecture. It’s even more challenging in the nonsoftware industries where most stakeholders have little software-engineering knowledge.

Mass psychology also shows that most people believe in “perception is reality.” Therefore, if you can control how people perceive the architectural approach you propose, it’s virtually guaranteed that you can control how they will react to your proposal. How can you mange stakeholders’ perceptions? Make a strong business case for your architecture. ...

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