3rd Edition

The Art of Systems Architecting

By Mark W. Maier Copyright 2009
    466 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    472 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    If engineering is the art and science of technical problem solving, systems architecting happens when you don’t yet know what the problem is. The third edition of a highly respected bestseller, The Art of Systems Architecting provides in-depth coverage of the least understood part of systems design: moving from a vague concept and limited resources to a satisfactory and feasible system concept and an executable program. The book provides a practical, heuristic approach to the "art" of systems architecting. It provides methods for embracing, and then taming, the growing complexity of modern systems.

    New in the Third Edition:

    • Five major case studies illustrating successful and unsuccessful practices

    • Information on architecture frameworks as standards for architecture descriptions

    • New methods for integrating business strategy and architecture and the role of architecture as the technical embodiment of strategy

    • Integration of process guidance for organizing and managing architecture projects

    • Updates to the rapidly changing fields of software and systems-of-systems architecture

    • Organization of heuristics around a simple and practical process model

     A Practical Heuristic Approach to the Art of Systems Architecting

    Extensively rewritten to reflect the latest developments, the text explains how to create a system from scratch, presenting invention/design rules together with clear explanations of how to use them. The author supplies practical guidelines for avoiding common systematic failures while implementing new mandates. He uses a heuristics-based approach that provides an organized attack on very ill-structured engineering problems. Examining architecture as more than a set of diagrams and documents, but as a set of decisions that either drive a system to success or doom it to failure, the book provide methods for integrating business strategy with technical architectural decision making.

    Part I: Introduction

    A Brief Review of Classical Architecting Methods

    Chapter 1 Extending the Architecting Paradigm

    Introduction: The Classical Architecting Paradigm

    Responding to Complexity

    The High Rate of Advances in the Computer and Information Sciences

    The Foundations of Modern Systems Architecting

    The Architecture Paradigm Summarized

    The Waterfall Model of Systems Acquisition

    Spirals, Increments, and Collaborative Assembly

    Scopes of Architecting

    Chapter 2 Heuristics as Tools

    Introduction: A Metaphor

    Heuristics as Abstractions of Experience

    Selecting a Personal Kit of Heuristic Tools

    Using Heuristics

    A Process Framework for Architecting Heuristics

    Heuristics on Heuristics

    A Taxonomy of Heuristics

    New Directions

    Part II: New Domains, New Insights

    Case Study 1: DC-3

    The History

    Architecture Interpretation

    Three Story Variations

    Was the Boeing 247 Successfully Architected?

    What Is the "Architecture" of the DC-3?

    Art Raymond’s Principles

    Chapter 3 Builder-Architected Systems

    Introduction: The Form-First Paradigm

    Technological Substitutions within Existing Systems

    Consequences of Uncertainty of End Purpose

    Architecture and Competition

    Reducing the Risks of Uncertainty of End Purpose

    Risk Management by Intermediate Goals

    The "What Next?" Quandary

    Controlling the Critical Features of the Architecture

    Abandonment of an Obsolete Architecture

    Creating Innovative Teams

    Architecting "Revolutionary" Systems

    Systems Architecting and Basic Research

    Heuristics for Architecting Technology-Driven Systems

    Case Study 2: Mass and Lean Production


    An Architectural History of Mass Production

    Cottage Industry (1890s to 1910s)

    Birth of Mass Production (1908–1913)

    Competition from New Quarters (1920s to 1930s)

    The Toyota Production System (1940s to 1980s)

    Metaphor or Vision Changes


    A Car for the Masses, or If We Build It, It Will Sell

    Cars as Fashion

    The Supermarket Metaphor

    The Toyota Way

    Elements of the Architecture of the Ford Production System

    The Assembly Line

    Enterprise Distribution

    Management Processes

    Quality Assurance for Distributed Production

    Devotion to Component-Level Simplification

    Social Contract

    Chapter 4 Manufacturing Systems

    Introduction: The Manufacturing Domain

    Manufacturing in Context

    Architectural Innovations in Manufacturing

    Dynamic Manufacturing Systems

    Lean Production

    Flexible Manufacturing

    Heuristics for Architecting Manufacturing Systems

    Case Study 3: Intelligent Transportation Systems


    ITS Concepts

    ITS Sociotechnical Issues

    Who Is the Client for an Architect?

    Public or Private?

    Facts and Perceptions

    Architecture as Shared Invariants

    Dominance of Economics

    Chapter 5 Social Systems

    Introduction: Defining Sociotechnical Systems

    Public Participation

    The Foundations of Sociotechnical Systems Architecting

    The Separation of Client and User

    Socioeconomic Insights

    The Interaction between the Public and Private Sectors

    Facts versus Perceptions: An Added Tension

    Heuristics for Social Systems

    Case Study 4: Hierarchical to Layered Systems

    Business Background

    Motivation for Change

    The Layered Alternative

    The Pain of the Transition


    Chapter 6 Software and Information Technology Systems

    Introduction: The Status of Software Architecting

    Software as a System Component

    Systems, Software, and Process Models

    The Problem of Hierarchy

    The Role of Architecture in Software-Centered Systems

    Programming Languages, Models, and Expression

    Architectures, "Unifying" Models, and Visions

    Directions in Software Architecting


    Case Study 5: The Global Positioning System

    The History

    The Origins of GPS: The Foundational Programs

    Inertial Navigation and Its Limits

    Weapon Delivery

    The Transit Program



    The Origin of GPS

    Parkinson and Currie

    The Fateful Weekend

    The Long Road to Revolution

    The Timeline to Operation

    Commercial Markets and the Gulf War

    Revolution in the Second Generation

    Ubiquitous GPS

    GPS-Guided Weapons

    Architecture Interpretation

    Right Idea, Right Time, Right People

    Be Technically Aggressive, But Not Suicidal

    Consensus without Compromise

    Architecture as Invariants

    Revolution through Coupled Change

    Chapter 7 Collaborative Systems

    Introduction: Collaboration as a Category

    Collaborative System Examples

    Analogies for Architecting Collaborative Systems

    Collaborative System Heuristics

    Variations on the Collaborative Theme


    Standards and Collaborative Systems

    Part III: Models and Modeling

    Introduction to Part III

    A Civil Architecture Analogy

    Guide to Part III

    Chapter 8 Representation Models and Systems Architecting

    Introduction: Roles, Views, and Models

    Roles of Models

    Models, Viewpoints, and Views

    Classification of Models by View



    Notes and References

    Chapter 9 Design Progression in Systems Architecting

    Introduction: Architecting Process Components

    Design Progression

    Introduction by Examples

    Design as the Evolution of Models

    Evaluation Criteria and Heuristic Refinement

    Design Concepts for Systems Architecture

    Architecture and Design Disciplines

    Chapter 10 Integrated Modeling Methodologies


    General Integrated Models

    Integrated Modeling and Software

    Integrated Models for Manufacturing Systems

    Integrated Models for Sociotechnical Systems

    Chapter 11 Architecture Frameworks


    Defining an Architecture Framework

    Current Architecture Frameworks

    Research Directions

    Adapting Processes to Frameworks


    Notes and References

    Part IV: The Systems Architecting Profession

    Chapter 12 Architecting in Business and Government


    Strategy and Architecture in Business and Government

    Architecture of Programs

    Strategic Architecting of Programs

    Enterprise Architecture

    Chapter 13 The Political Process and Systems Architecting

    Introduction: The Political Challenge

    Politics as a Design Factor

    The First Skill to Master

    Heuristics in the Political Process: "The Facts of Life"

    A Few More Skills to Master

    Chapter 14 The Professionalization of Systems Architecting


    The Profession of Systems Engineering

    Systems Architecting and Systems Standards

    The Origins of Systems Standards

    Commercial Standards

    Company Standards

    A Summary of Standards Developments, 1950–1995

    Systems Architecting Graduate Education

    Curriculum Design

    Advanced Study in Systems Architecting

    Professional Societies and Publications

    Conclusion: An Assessment of the Profession

    Notes and References

    Appendix A: Heuristics for Systems-Level Architecting

    Introduction: Organizing the List

    Heuristic Tool List


    Notes and References

    Appendix B: Reference Texts Suggested for Institutional Libraries

    Architecting Background



    Specialty Areas


    Systems Sciences

    Systems Thinking

    Appendix C: On Defining Architecture and Other Terms

    Defining "Architecture"

    Models, Viewpoints, and Views



    Author Index

    Subject Index


    Mark W. Maier