TMMM: The Second System Effect

The problem discussed is that after an architect has one system under their belt they are full of ideas for new features and refinements. If they are not careful, if they do not excercies discipline then the second system will be full of frills and embelishments born out of experience with the first system. The architects inventive enthusiam will be eventually bound by the budget constraints on implementation.

For me the highlight of this essay was the importance of discipline for cross team communication. For the architect it may be fustrating not being able to include an element of the design because of the estimates provided by the implementers do not fit within budget; however they must not override the implementer challengeing the builder’s way of doing their job is an emotion-generating exercise. As such it’s important to

  • Make the suggestions discretely
  • Be ready to forego and credit for suggested improvements
  • Be prepared to suggest an implemetation but be happy to accept any other
  • Make sure proposals are suggested, not dictated
  • Be prepared to receive counter suggestions for your domain

The chapter also provides some examples of where architects needlessly refines features that have since been made obsolete. It’s imporant to not lose the forest through the trees and to step back from pet features that may be no longer relevent.

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