When Psychology Meets Architecture

I attended a session about something that is called Perspective Based Architecture (PBA) and I have to admit I chose the title because I wanted to catch attention. I have to admit beause at the very formal core PBA is not all about pschological aspects of the design of today's architectures. However in my opinion from the approach PBA takes it is very much about psychology and to be honest I think this is one way to make future architecture design efforts much more successful.

But to begin with the facts I shall take the opportunity to explain a littel about what PBA is all about.

PBA is a architecture method that deals with the fact that in order to design powerfull and lasting architectures you need to answer many questions and depending on answers on those questions you need to make architectural decisions. The more questions you answer and the better your information basis is the better your architectural decisions will be. Interestingly the questions to ask when it comes to create "good" architectures didn't change much over the last 50 years.

So the goal of PBA is to capture all those questions in a community-like model and organize them with a meta model. Advantage is that PBA compliments any other methodology that is used in the solution development process. The interesting part is that the questions should be descussed and answered by as many project stakeholders as possible an now the psychology part comes into play because the requirement is that the answers should be answered forgetting about the role, status ad organization the answerer is in at the moment just capturing his or her perspective on the questioned matter. This guarantees high quality and problem solving answers which enable to easily and efectively moving forward in the architecture design project.

Critical readers might now object that you will never reach situation in which subjects are completely neutral in there answers and of course you are right. It takes a lot of patience, practice and empathy to come to the point were you can act in the required way however pilot projects like the one done at a large retailer proove that it can be accomplished and the results are really compelling.

Like already said the questions are captured in a commuity approach so feel free to contribute your own questions. Questions relate to specifically defined PBA Zones which are:

  • Specific Solution Requirements Zone
  • IT Operations Zone
  • Business Operations Zone
  • Trends/Futures Zone

And there are a few requirements for question proposals like:

  • The question must be applicable across technologies, methodologies, time, vendors, processes and industries
  • Each Zone Area question must be focused for one Zone Area only
  • Each question must be addressed to currrent professional standards for IT Architecture

If you want to participate or want more information visit the PBA Homepage