Chapter 3. The Architecture Design Session

I have conducted hundreds of architecture design sessions and have found them to be vital to building a successful data solution. This chapter walks you through how to hold a successful architecture design session that puts your data solution on the right path.

What Is an ADS?

An architecture design session (ADS) is a structured discussion with business and technical stakeholders that’s driven by technical experts and focused on defining and planning the high-level design of a solution to collect data for specific business opportunities. The first ADS is the start of the architecture process and will lead to many more discussions (including, quite possibly, other ADSs) to support the data solution project. The ADS should produce two deliverables:

  • An architecture (or “blueprint”) that can serve as a starting point for the data solution

  • A high-level plan of action, which may include follow-on demonstrations, proofs of concept, and product discussions

An ADS is not a technical workshop, a technical training, a tech demonstration, nor a low-level requirements session.

Why Hold an ADS?

There are many reasons to hold an ADS. First, it often brings together multiple stakeholders from the same organization, including some who have never met face-to-face. Even just the act of getting together in person or virtually can foster creativity and problem solving. Further, it may include stakeholders who understand their business very well and who ...

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