The circumstances and facts surrounding each architect role in an organization as you can see in the definition “The set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.”
Put in architecture context, The primary set of circumstances or facts that impact the nature and execution of architects within an organization.
- Business size
- Business type
- Business unit
- Location – geography, language, culture
- Process and framework
- Architecture level
- Architecture understanding
- Context impacts architecture capability and role
Things that impact context can generally be classified using a matrix of influences such as business size, type and business unit. For example, large financial institutions tend to have certain character of architecture context when compared with similarly sized retail organizations.
Additional contextual influences are location, including geography, language and culture, process, framework and SDLC levels, current architecture level as well as understanding. Since context effects everything about architecture internally it is important to accurately map these influencers when considering an engagement model.
So a general framework for understanding your context is based on a series of Q/A sessions. How many employees does your business have (this will generally limit the size of your architect team and engagement)? How much revenue do you bring in annually? Quarterly? What type of business are you in? What are your customers like? What is the key differentiator of your business? How isstrategy developed? How does the budgeting process work? What is the IT spend per year and per quarter? What percent is maintenance vs. new development? Has architecture every been tried there before? If so by whom and when? What happened? What are the processes for SDLC, procurement and project selection?