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10 common complaints people have on Architects

Software industry has respect and knows value of Architects being on the projects. Architects play major role in success or failure of the project and have to take major responsibility throughout the SDLC phases. Well, here is a list of common complaints team members have on Architects though. There are many expectations from Architects but other members of the team including project managers, developers, QA and testers face certain challenges working with Architects. Intention of documenting this list is to help us understand these complaints, introspect and improve upon. Obviously specific context and background cannot be overlooked but in corporate world very few people have time to dig into background and context, what gets propagated is ‘project is in danger due to Architect’. So have a look at this list, see if any of these complaints are applicable to you or your team members and proactively act on those ASAP. [Obviously I am not providing any mitigation plan as there is no silver bullet to address any of these complaints. Idea is to list them together for our introspection exercise only.]

  1. Architects act as consultants: Architect is not working as a team player. *he is just acting as a consultant providing 50 thousand feet advice which can be applicable to any technology solution. For actual work they are not available. They expect others to interpret what they are saying and implement it based on abstract level understanding. How can we implement the projects with such Architects?
  2. Architects are hands-off technology folks: Architect does not understand technology details and not able to contribute to the HLD /LLD. Architect is not able to guide developers on prototypes and not able to debug issues. *he must be hands-off technology and cannot really help in success of the project. Why we have such Architects in our projects?
  3. Architect wants details and more details and even more before they start their work: We all work in constrained environment. We are trying to get as much details as possible from client but we cannot wait till all details are in place. Why cannot Architect start working on with certain assumptions and address gaps once details are in?
  4. Architects take credit only for success and push failures to developers: Architects have to be responsible for both success and failures. *he has to lead the team and mentor them as appropriate. Last week the prototype demo was miserable but *he just put developers on the spot. Why cannot *he take responsibility and accountability?
  5. Architects are looking for quicker exits from projects: Architects have to be present throughout the major SLDC phases but every week *he is asking me when the release date is? Just by putting architecture views and high level document, does *he think the role is over? How can we deliver the project with quality and on time without Architect on board?
  6. Architects do not like get questioned: Architect think whatever *he has drawn and documented is the final word. *he does not like I asking rationale and justification on any specific decision, architecture consideration or any specific technology choice. *he just asks me to keep away from the architecture document as if I do not understand anything. Why does not *he like get questioned?
  7. Architects do not like documentation: We have Architecture and HLD/LLD as deliverable but *he is not putting any detail documentation in place. *he thinks all these details are known to everyone including client and expects developers to write few things. *he thinks that through discussions *he will be able to convey client and team on ground what needs to be done. I am confused and frustrated!
  8. Architects blame others for estimation flaws: We have been asking Architect to participate in estimation exercise, provide inputs and also carry out complexity based estimation independently to cross-validate the estimation. *he just blames others for estimation flaws. Either *he does not understand estimation techniques or does not know overall complexity of the project.
  9. Architects try to convey a bug as a feature: Developers agreed to QA that it was a bug and had to discuss with Architect due to severity of the bug. Architect did not listen to Developers and QA team and kept arguing that observation was a feature than a flaw. QA team had to simulate the observation and prove it as a bug. Still Architect kept arguing and got angry with team saying they do not understand the requirement. Developers had to patch code somehow and fix the bug. Why Architects carry ego and not accept their mistake?
  10. Architects answer questions with ‘depends on’ clause: I keep asking him simple questions and *he answers those questions with so many clauses. *he does not take any risk answering me in simple statements. With so many assumptions and clauses I am not able to understand anything *he says and not able to take any concrete decision. How can I convey being a strong team member and help me take right decision?

Have you noticed any other complaints on Architects? Can you add your observations which we can use for introspection? Thanks in advance!




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