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The Bernard Rules of Architecture
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  • These are what I call the Bernard Rules of Architecture. The order is important:
    • understand the problem - as given/stated by the problen owner
    • understand the problem context and its constraints
    • validate the problem with what the problem owner wants to achieve - not always the same as the problem
    • develop one or more candidate solutions
    • assess the solutions against the problem and its constraints
    • revisit the problem and determine if, by varing the problem, a more optimum solution is possible
    • agree the problem and solution with the problem owner
    • document everything
    • based upon the solution, develop a set of requirements that defines the details of the solution
    • make sure the PM implements the solution you have defined, not what they think should be implemented.


    • the solution defines project requirements, not the other way round.
    • the combination of problem/solution is optimised, not just the solution.
    • these rules apply to a range of problem types, not just Information Technology.
    • don't confuse a reduction in cost with an increase in efficiency.

    Bernard Robertson-Dunn, 22 June 2010

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