Difficulty of Architectural Decisions – A Survey with Professional Architects
Much research exists on architectural decisions, but little work describes architectural decisions in the real-world. In this paper, we present the results of a survey with 43 architects from industry. We study characteristics of 86 real-world architectural decisions and factors that contribute to their difficulty. Also, we compare decisions made by junior architects and senior architects. Finally, we compare good and bad architectural decisions. Survey results indicate that architectural decisions take an average time of eight working days. Dependencies between decisions and the effort required to analyze decisions are major factors that contribute to their difficulty. Compared to senior architects, junior architects spend a quarter of the time on making a decision. Good architectural decisions tend to include more decision alternatives than bad decisions. Finally, we found that 86% of architectural decisions are group decisions.
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