Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"No architectural implications"

I was reviewing the corporation's project portfolio last week and identified a number of technology initiatives that seemed like candidates for a formal Architecture Review (for the record, this was over and above the formal project selection process we have in place). I emailed the director for one application team and indicated that we wanted some additional information about one of their projects; scope, changes, and impacts. The response from the director was (essentially), "The project will cost 1.7 million dollars and there are no architectural implications." Really? How does someone spend that much money on an application development effort, even on an existing system, and not have any architecture implications?

I was a programmer for 20 years, and I'm not sure I ever worked on an upgrade that didn't have SOME architecture implications. Maybe, I thought, this was a data conversion project, or maybe an effort to comment code, or check the code into a new source repository, or add better testing. For $1,700,000 something had to be taking place and if there were no architectural implications, that would mean that the code was staying the same (sans comments). The Director later explained that there will be changes to the application interfaces, but that significant modifications will be made internally to the code. To make a long story short, there are architecture changes going on and we are going to be reviewing the application, beginning with a new set of before/after blueprints.

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