The Tarchitecture Roadmap

The Tarchitecture Roadmap


You are building an application expected to have multiple, ongoing product releases. You have a Market Map and a Feature/Benefit Map to identify specific markets and the features/benefits that they want. You may have an existing architecture that supports one or more markets.


How do you manage/leverage technological change?


  • No matter how well an application has been architected, changes in technology can invalidate prior assumptions.

  • Technologies usually appear on the horizon with enough time to accommodate them if they're planned for.

  • Developers like to understand where they are headed.

  • Developers like to learn new things.

  • Developers want a way to manage the tarchitectural evolution of poorly implemented features or capabilities. The want a way to make both the poor feature/capability known to others and register their desire to change it.

  • Technology can enable new features that marketing may want.

  • Marketing may demand features that can be supported only by adopting a new technology.

  • Competitors' adoption of a new technology may put you in a disadvantageous, reactive state.

  • Technical people will argue over emerging technologies. Sometimes the arguments are a way of learning more about the issues. Most of the time the only way to reach consensus is to allow them plenty of time for discussion.


Create a technology map that shows how your architecture will evolve . It should relate to the market map and feature/benefit map by showing how specific technologies produce benefits that are desired by key market segments.

Review this map whenever important milestones are realized and no less than once every six months. Examples of important internal milestones include code freeze, product shipment, and when 50% of current customers have upgraded to the most recent version. Examples of important external milestones can be a competitor issuing a new product release, new patent discoveries, whenever a member of the technical staff identifies a significant discontinuous technology, or whenever market events occur.

The creation and management of the tarchitecture roadmap requires that at least one member of the team scan the external environment for new developments in the field.

If marketing has identified a feature that cannot be supported by existing technologies (either directly or because of performance/cost curves) the tarchitecture roadmap can help the team maintain focus by periodically scanning the environment to see if any new technologies have emerged that meet this need.

Resulting Context

The good news is that you will identify promising technical futures for your product. The bad news is that unless your team has sufficient discipline they will want to explore every possible futurethe dreaded "shiny new object" syndrome.

Related Patterns

  • Market Map

  • Feature/Benefits Map

Beyond Software Architecture[c] Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions
Beyond Software Architecture[c] Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions
ISBN: 201775948
Year: 2005
Pages: 202 © 2008-2017.
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