frequently. Coming across someone that actually 'gets it right' and
demonstrates the true behaviors of a software architect is sort of
like winning a sweepstakes. Or more likely a local charity raffle. It
does happen, but it is pleasantly surprising nonetheless.
An architect has Vision.
An architect has Will.
An architect has Influence.
Like most good communication, it starts with a picture. For an
architect, this picture starts in the mind. It starts by listening,
and asking questions, and collecting the liquid perspectives of the
contributors and decision-makers and audiences and consumers.
Once there is a Vision, and sometimes before, a true architect relies
on their Will to align differing agendas, find common goals and
messages, and establish direction, approach and criteria for success.
In many situations Will must be exerted to extract necessary
information, expose individual perceptions, and uncover truth.
The exercise of Will to realize a Vision through the efforts of others
requires Influence. This is distinct from manipulation because it is
transparent and all parties are aware of the exchanges and the goals.
Until you acquire a Vision, your Will is pointless. Without Will, you
will have ineffective Influence. Without Influence you will have a
hard time achieving anything, and what you do achieve will be
inefficiently gained or comes only at personal cost (time, integrity,
Today I actually saw an architect at work. It was a beautiful and
inspiring thing to witness.
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