Advanced Architect’s Master Class

The Advanced Architect’s Master Class continues the journey started with the Architect’s Master Class. While the Architect’s Master Class took care of system design, this is just the first ingredient of success. The architect must also design the process and even the project to build the system. This requires a similar but complimenting set of both technical and soft skills. In many ways the Advanced Architect’s Master Class is even more critical than the Architect’s Master Class because it addresses lower level needs in any software system. It makes little difference when the architect produced an adequate or even great design if the team at hand cannot build the system, or if there isn’t enough time to implement that design. Furthermore, it does not matter how good the architecture is if its construction is just too risky, and the only way to address those risks is in modifying both the system and the project design.

These observations are non-trivial since it is often too easy for architects to isolate themselves from such crucial aspects and become “astronaut architects” or drift to the other extreme and become too involved in low-level technical concerns that are likely secondary or tertiary to the core issues of correct design.

There is therefore a maturity process most architects go through. Starting off, architects learn over time how to produce system architecture that caters for maintainability, reusability, extensibility, technical feasibility, scalability, throughput, availability, responsiveness, performance and security. The Architect’s Master Class indeed shows architects how to produces design solutions that satisfy these requirements and constraints. But the list above is partial, and you must add to it resources, schedule, and risk. These aspects are part of system design as much as the previous ones. As the Advanced Architect’s Master Class shows, addressing them is fundamentally an engineering design task, and the responsibility of the software architect, as the engineer in charge.

The Advanced Architect’s Master Class starts by discussing how to design and orient the development process itself towards the highly modular nature of the architecture. The technology for the modules, these microservices, changes over time, and yet the very use of smaller blocks introduces inherent complexity. When you design a highly modular system, it would be naive to expect that the only things you do differently will be limited to design and technology. The development process itself needs to be modular, accommodating the complexity of the microservices as a system. The class shares the IDesign Method as well as original techniques, metrics and ideas, all practiced in real life across hundreds of projects, allowing for a services-oriented development. Students will learn a battle-hardened approach that they can immediately apply to achieve robust applications, manage requirements, and ensure faster time to market. You will also see how the various team members – the architect, the project manager and the developers – should work in concert, and their respective tasks and responsibilities towards the system and the components of the architecture.

The class next teaches advanced system and project modeling techniques that are admirably suited for complex software systems and arguably, the only ones that works. You will understand the typical behavior of a software system, and what recurring techniques and approaches to leverage as you cope with constraints. Since there are several design solutions for every system, some more aggressive than others, you will learn how to objectively measure the risk of each option and evaluate the design solutions in light of risk as well as cost and duration. The result is being able to determine the best overall plan across architecture, schedule, cost, and risk. The class will show you not only how to converge on the best and even optimal solution for the system, while eliminating gambling, death marches, wishful thinking, and expensive trial and error.

But no design or architecture survives the first day of execution unscathed – priorities, resources, deadlines, estimations and features will change, and you must constantly adapt the plan for the new reality. The class will show you how to hand-off the design to both developers and project managers. Developers must receive clear, unambiguous, detailed design instructions they can construct the system against. Project managers must receive a detailed plan from the architect they can both execute and track against– a plan that is derived directly from the system architecture. Furthermore, the Advanced Architect’s Master Class shows the IDesign’s techniques for closing the loop by tracking both progress and effort across developers and system services and containing the impact of changes, allowing you to constantly stay on schedule and on budget and meet your commitments.

The class ends with a comprehensive case study and walks through its various permutations in determining the best design that will keep the project on time at the best risk and cost available. The case study not only demonstrates end-to-end flow of system and project design across iterations, but it also teaches the thought process and rationale behind the decisions, our practical approach for using tools, how to integrate and compensate for the tools’ shortcomings, and how to utilize the IDesign templates.

While most training classes merely stack modules, focusing on a single topic at a time, the Advanced Architect’s Master Class uses a spiral, and each iteration gains more insight across multiple topics, providing the motivation and objectives for the next iteration, thus mimicking the natural learning process. Each such iteration incorporates hands-on labs to cement the concepts and practice the techniques. In the class you will also receive the IDesign’s original tools, metrics, rules of thumb, templates, and reference projects.

The Advanced Architect’s Master Class takes students to a new level as architects, mentoring how to gain credibility and perfect communication with top management and project managers, and teaches how to speak their language by providing real life, repeatable and workable options for the project.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn and improve your architecture and project leadership skills with IDesign, and share our passion for excellence and system engineering. Gain from our extensive experience of numerous projects and profound insight on architecture, the process and its application.

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Target audience

Any architect or project lead would benefit greatly from the class. Taking the Architect’s Master Class prior to this class is recommended, but not required. While the Advanced Architect’s Master Class is the logical next step after the Architect’s Master Class, there is little overlap between the classes allowing you to take this class first and then follow up with the Architect’s Master Class.


5 Intense Days

Other Classes


Services-Oriented Development

  • Design granularity effect on the project
  • System design and the team
  • The fuzzy front end
  • The SDP review
  • The core team
  • Product life cycle
  • Service life cycle
  • Estimation techniques
  • Services integration plan
  • Staffing distribution
  • Scheduling activities
  • Viability and risk
  • Calculating cost
  • Tracking progress and effort
  • Roles and responsibilities

Project Design Concepts

  • Accelerating projects
  • Project as a network diagram
  • Time-cost curve
  • The death zone
  • Cost elements
  • Staffing and cost
  • Presenting to management

Quantifying Design Risk

  • Risk and decision making
  • Risk curve
  • Modeling risk
  • Risk decompression

Design in Action

  • Architecture and dependencies
  • Complexity reduction
  • Adding activities
  • Planning assumptions
  • Network and resources
  • Handling constraints
  • Floats analysis
  • Infrastructure and dependencies
  • Accelerating schedule
  • Throughput analysis
  • Efficiency analysis
  • Time-cost curve
  • The death zone
  • Quantifying Risk
  • Risk decompression
  • Risk crossover points
  • Preparing for SDP review


Additional Thoughts

  • General guidelines
  • Tips
  • Architect and team
  • Hand-off point
  • Team and productivity
  • Execution complexity
  • Common misconceptions
  • Design of design
  • Very large projects
  • Small projects
  • Design standard
  • Scope, effort, time, perspectives
  • Design by layers
  • Antifragility
  • Design and quality
  • Debriefing design

Design Mini-Clinic

  • Project walkthrough
  • Planning assumptions
  • Normal solution
  • SDP presentations and review