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Definition of principles:
Via Nova Architectura,
Architecture Principles Arena:
Definition of principles:
Via Nova Architectura, Architecture Principles Arena:
there are several definitions of principles, we
believe there are actually three classes of
Principles as imposed laws. Like inherent
laws, they are properties that can be validated.
However, imposed laws also require mechanisms to
enforce them. Imposed laws typically address
concerns of stakeholders. Some of these concerns
may be raised by inherent laws which may have a
negative/undesirable effect with regard to the
system being designed.
Principles as guidelines. Desired
properties that are so concrete that they offer
guidelines to make operational behavior fit
"Principles are high level statements of the fundamental values that guide Information Technology (IT) decision-making and activities at NIH and are the foundation for IT architecture, standards, and policy development."
'An architectural principle is a fundamental rule that applies to a large number of situations and variables. Architectural principles include "separation of concerns", "generic interface", "self-descriptive syntax," "visible semantics," "network effect" (Metcalfe's Law), and Amdahl's Law: "The speed of a system is limited by its slowest component."'
Guide to creating architecture principles:
We advocate that principles included in the architecture decision set as Architecture Principles are statements of direction or practice that we will develop consensus and focus action around, to change the status quo (either to do something different with a shift in strategic direction, or to do something consistently that we have only being doing in isolated instances perhaps because it involves hard choices and tradeoffs). If we are going to take a minimalist approach to architecture, then we look to the minimum we need to do to ensure that the right things happen to achieve the strategic outcomes our business seeks. So we don't want to state general good principles that are already adhered to, or which are good practice but not something we should extend and encumber the architecture decision set with (everything we add to the architecture consumes attention of those who create and maintain it, those who need to understand and act in accordance with it, and those who govern it). Which begs the question--how long-lived are architecture principles? As business strategy and architecture drivers change, we want to revisit the set of principles, looking to cull principles that no longer apply and adding principles that reflect the new direction. Once a principle is pretty well enculturated within the organization, we may continue to keep it in the architecture decision set if it is a point of uniqueness to our organization and we find that as we onboard new developers and architects (new hires or through acquisitions), the principle is important to helping bring them into our organization's (technical) culture (for technical principles) with its norms and principles guiding decisions and practice. -- Ruth Malan, Architecture Principles
Architecture Principles Template
This guidance assumes that we are using "architecture principle" to mean a normative rule or code of conduct that orients and aligns decisions and actions. Well-stated principles cleave the decision space between decisions in line with the principle and decisions that run counter to the principle.
Which is not to say that architects shouldn't collect, organize, disseminate and teach guiding principles/approaches that leads to good designs. The point is only to separate general education of the development teams from principles that are formally used to shape the direction and decision space.
Examples of architecture principles:
Federal and state agencies:
Examples of Principles from Outside of Software and Enterprise Architecture
Principles governing (professional) conduct:
Examples in Software
Examples in Enterprise Architecture
Guidance on Creating EA Principles
Gandhi and Leadership Principles
If you haven't watched Gandhi in a while, I heartily recommend it! It is about a great leader, and about great followers. And it is about principles with catchy names like "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Deep, nation--and world--changing principles.
Principles used by CEOs
We are seeing more examples of the use of principles among business leadership, including the Patagonia Principles described by founder Yvon Chouinard, and the principles that Howard Behar used during his tenure as CEO of Starbucks.
Guiding Principles for Architects