Monday, February 1, 2010

Architecture AntiPatterns: Pattern #2 - Groundhog Day

AntiPattern Name: Groundhog Day
General Form:
Important architectural decisions that were once made get lost, forgotten or are not communicated effectively.  
Symptoms and Consequences:
  • People forget or don’t know a decision was made.
  • The same decision is made more than once, possibly differently.
  • New people joining the project don’t understand why a decision was made.
Refactored Solution:
  • Capture important decisions in the “Architectural Decisions” work product.
  • Ensure a process is in place for making and ratifying decisions (maybe a Design Authority responsibility).
  • Ensure decisions get known about by all the right people.
See Pattern #1


  1. Is there also a need for a process to review decisions with hindsight, to understand if it was a success or should have been handled differently? This would feed into future decisions of a similar nature to help improve decision making.

  2. Hi Kris, Two things: Some process that reviews and approves the decisions in-flight is certainly needed and yes, a review at the end of the project to see what can be generalised (maybe to become longer lived 'principles') would certainly also be useful.