Back to the simple architecture well, again!

Simple isn’t a framework or state of mind it is a process reduction. Simple is taking a look at what is there and making sure you don’t add complexity because of what you are building.

People often confuse simple with bad as well. Not sure why simple is perceived as bad. Simple is reeducation not removal. You can build the system you need you just need to find ways to make the overall implementation simple. The overall documentation simple.

Simple is about reduction of documentation. No one reads those massive documents produced. They sit and gather dust. So part of what we have to do is to get the documents read. That means the documents have to be both easy to read as well as structured so that they are also easy to keep updated.

Getting to simple is sometimes harder than you think. For years organizations have built libraries of documentation. They have built, refined and implemented massive documentation systems and quality gates for the products they are building and deploying. Simple doesn’t mean that quality is forgotten. Quality is a state within a process that determines both the reliability and the other ileitis within a solution. Have simple easy to read documentation that clearly documents what is deployed.

Now here is the interesting reality of quality and simple architectures. If you have everything documented you are more likely to be able to find the errors and issues than if you do not. Knowing what is really deployed and not what was designed and then put on a shelf is the difference.

I have often stumbled upon the documentation curse as I embark on major migrations with customers. Yes, this is what was designed. No that is not how we implemented it. That dichotomy is very dangerous. Designs can always be modified. But if you find out you have to start over that becomes a game changer.

Keeping documentation current is the function of the overall concepts of software architecture. Living architecture documents are critical for organizational success. When you flow that into the process of the simple architecture movement, you find that it becomes easier to continue documenting the overall solution if you don’t have to build a 200 page document.

So effectively simple architectures actually move closer to the quality attribute of reliability, based on the reality of what is documented and what exists.


Simple Architecture Movement