Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Architecture AntiPatterns: Pattern #5 - Death by (Technical) Presentations

AntiPattern Name: Death by (Technical) Presentations
General Form:
A presentation on a technical topic contains many, many slides of tightly packed text with overly complex diagrams that are difficult to read close up let alone from any distance away.   
Symptoms and Consequences:
  • You're invited along to a presentation where the architecture will be "presented".
  • The presentation consists of 167 slides in mainly 12pt font with closely packed words on each page.
  • The presenter often says things like "I'm sorry you can't see this from the back" or " I'm going to skip over this slide as it's not really relevant".
Refactored Solution:
  • Read this book and visit Garr Reynolds blog for ideas and inspiration
  • Architectures should be created as models in a legitimate modelling tool. It's okay to cut and paste pictures into a presentation tool such as PowerPoint as long as they can easily be viewed and are meaningful.
  • Make sure presentations are consistent in their use of layout, colour and fonts.
  • Don't attempt to put all the information in a presentation. Refactor to contain the key points only.
  • Put the detailed information in handouts which are given out after the presentation.
See Pattern #4

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