Architecture Documents

I have an idea! (Now what?)

Albert Einstein — "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."

All software starts with a single idea. It can be a huge game changing idea, an idea that solves problems for a small niche market or simply a way to do something a little bit better or quicker. Whatever the scope of the idea, the initial problem is always the same: How do I make my idea work in the real world?

If you're already a developer the typical answer is to sit down and start banging together a prototype. However, for most normal people you're going to need to bring in additional help to turn your idea into an application. You will need to build a team of developers and potentially investors. You will also need to be able to communicate your idea to your team, clearly and quickly. This is where something like an architecture document can be incredibly useful.

The goal of the architecture document is to effectively describe and define the application you want to build. Who are your users? How will users interact with the application? How will the application respond to the users? What concepts and terminology will the users need to understand in order to use the application? How will the application communicate this to the users? What technologies are the best fit for building the application? What features should you prioritize in order to deliver the initial application in a timely fashion?

An architecture document can communicate the answers to these questions in a simple visual fashion.

For developers, the architecture document provides vital insight into the overall purpose of the application and what the users will need in order to accomplish each task. A good architecture document eliminates much of the guesswork on a project. By providing the developer with a clear description of the user's potential activities, it is much easier to design the software to suit those needs.

For potential investors, the architecture document lets them know that you have "done your homework." It tells them what is involved in the creation of the application and how you will go about building it. Much like with the developers, the goal is to eliminate much of the guesswork about the project, allowing your investors to plainly see both the potential cost and viability of the project.

For you (the person with the idea), the process of generating the architecture document will draw out new considerations, possibilities and issues you may not have considered. It will also help you clearly define and communicate the project to the rest of your team.

Twelve Foot Guru has created a number of architecture documents for various projects, both small and large. We will use our many years of experience to help you refine and communicate your idea as effectively as possible. If the project is a good fit for our skills, we will also provide a bid for the overall project. If not, we will provide guidance on building the best team for your needs. Either way, you will be able to leverage the architecture document to guide you and your team to the completion of a successful project. Take a look at the example PDF below to see what we can do for you.

Architecture Document Example File