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Fundamentals of Software Architecture by Neal Ford, Mark Richards

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Chapter 23. Negotiation and Leadership Skills

Negotiation and leadership skills are hard skills to obtain. It takes many years of learning, practice, and “lessons learned” experiences to gain the necessary leadership and negotiation skills to become an effective software architect. Knowing that this book cannot make an architect an expert in negotiation and leadership overnight, the techniques introduced in this chapter provide a good starting point for gaining these important skills.

Negotiation and Facilitation

In the introduction chapter of this book we listed the core expectations of an architect, the last being the expectation that a software architect must understand the political climate of the enterprise and be able to navigate the politics. The reason for this key expectation is that almost every decision a software architect makes will be challenged. Decisions will be challenged by developers who think they know more than the architect and hence have a better approach. Decisions will be challenged by other architects within the organization that think they have a better idea or way of approaching the problem. Finally, decisions will be challenged by stakeholders who will argue that the decision is too expensive or will take too much time.

Consider the decision of an architect to use database clustering and federation (using separate physical domain-scoped database instances) to mitigate risk with regards to overall availability within a system. While this is a sound ...

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