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Software Architecture

Analyzing Architecture Risk

Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Intermediate content levelIntermediate

Patterns and techniques to reduce risk and create a better architecture

One of the core expectations of a software architect is to continually analyze the architecture to identify risk and recommend solutions for improvement—what’s commonly referred to as architecture vitality. Unfortunately, not enough software architects continuously analyze architectural risk, and as a result applications eventually stop working.

Join expert software architect Mark Richards to learn how to identify, qualify, and mitigate architecture risk. Through exercises and real-world examples, you’ll discover how to identify and analyze risk associated with elasticity, security, and data integrity—and get hands-on with patterns and techniques to reduce risk and create a better architecture.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • How to identify and objectify risk within an architecture
  • How to determine risk criteria
  • How architecture risk can impact the success of a system
  • Techniques and patterns for addressing risk areas related to security, elasticity, and data integrity
  • How to create and present an architecture risk assessment

And you’ll be able to:

  • Leverage risk storming to identify risk through collaboration
  • Create fitness functions to track and qualify risk
  • ssess the architectural risk of your existing systems

This live event is for you because...

  • You’re an architect or senior developer responsible for the successful operation of your application.
  • You want to identify and qualify risk areas within your own systems.
  • You’re a software architect who wants to learn how to engage developers in the architecture of your system.


  • Familiarity with core architecture concepts and principles
  • A basic understanding of asynchronous processing using messaging

Recommended preparation:

  • Download the course workbook (PDF, link to come)

Recommended follow-up:


The time frames are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing.

Introduction (15 min)

  • Why measure architecture risk?
  • Measurement and analysis techniques
  • Architecture case study

Determining Risk Dimensions (45 min)

  • Choosing service or domain area analysis
  • Determining risk criteria
  • Hands-on exercises: determining risk criteria (with break)

Identifying Architectural Risk (45 min)

  • Risk matrix
  • Risk storming
  • Hands-on exercises: identifying architectural risk
  • Analyzing security risk
  • Analyzing responsiveness risk
  • Analyzing elasticity risk
  • Analyzing data integrity risk

Risk Mitigation Techniques (40 min)

  • Hands-on exercises: mitigating risk (with break)
  • Techniques for addressing security risk
  • Techniques for addressing responsiveness risk
  • Techniques for addressing elasticity risk
  • Techniques for addressing data integrity risk

Measuring Architectural Risk (30 min)

  • Reasons for measuring risk
  • Measurement techniques
  • Trend-based measurements
  • Threshold-based measurements
  • Hands-on exercises: measuring risk
  • Measuring data integrity risk
  • Measuring responsiveness risk
  • Measuring elasticity risk
  • Measuring security risk

Summary (5 min)

  • Risk analysis steps
  • Resources

Your Instructor

  • Mark Richards

    Mark Richards is an experienced, hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures and other distributed systems in a variety of technologies. He has been in the software industry since 1983 and has significant experience and expertise in application, integration, and enterprise architecture. Mark is the founder of, a free website devoted to helping developers in the journey to becoming a software architect. In addition to hands-on consulting, Mark has authored numerous technical books and videos, including his two latest books Fundamentals of Software Architecture and Software Architecture: The Hard Parts that he co-authored with Neal Ford. Mark has spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.