A good solution architecture is one that stands the test of time; one that is representative of the overall solution, and can be validated against different stakeholder needs. An excellent solution architecture is one that achieves all of these without being overly abstract.
At Arxxus, our team helps customers build system architectures that ensure systems and processes have maximum alignment with business goals. The solutions provide the extremely important function of driving technology roadmaps to help meet business needs at various levels of the organisation.
Raghu Nallani Chakravartula
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Most, if not all successful Salesforce implementations involve a complex mix of change management, and technical solutioning. A key factor to ensuring success requires clear understanding of stakeholder needs, and vetting the solution blueprint against it, the watchword here being 'stakeholder'. A purely technical approach might lead to an optimal technical solution for some users, but may find itself against the wall when pitted against other users. It is to mitigate these risks that we strive to build 'bigger picture' solution models; these identify the various users, their processes and gaps thereof, and attempt to provide solutions for these, keeping their various constraints in context.
At Arxxus, what we consider good Salesforce implementation architectures are those that provide clear roadmaps addressing primary process solutions, and requisite rapid build models which in turn help drive quicker user uptake and adoption. User adoption is unquestionably the litmus test of solution success. Ergo, good solution architectures drive better program success.
Arxxus considers architecture to be a logically complete blueprint that addresses needs and processes at various organisational layers. Such a blueprint provides relationships across various layers while demonstrating the impact of the different constraints and needs, which drive the solution. In a typical approach, we divide an architecture into layers to better align with, and address the needs of users in those layers:
In our architecture workshops, our consultants derive an understanding of these different layers, which helps different stakeholders across the organisation make better decisions regarding strategy, and process changes.
It is important to build roadmaps that can be translated into delivery schedules - schedules that can be realistically met within constraints, while providing maximum value to businesses. Our consultants model solutions conceptually as well as in detail where required, which contributes to and ensures such program schedule adherence. This automatically reduces downstream complexity and risks, and helps chart a clear path for engineering teams to undertake the lifecycle processes of systems development.
Such process maps are evaluated and designed from different operational perspectives. This includes those of functional stakeholders as well as from the angles of continuous improvement, scalability, and maintainability. This ensures that high risk areas and gaps are identified and addressed early in the program cycle.
The exercise of creating an overall architecture should ideally be viewed as a precursor to the engineering roadmap of system build. Most enterprises are complex; an attempt to create an architecture which addresses and models all the different processes from all stakeholders perspectives could potentially stretch indefinitely, especially with evolving processes, and strategies. It is important to be able to identify and prioritise business needs and imperatives to ensure that architecture meets one of its primary goals: to provide optimal solutions within constraints.
Our approach at Arxxus encourages businesses adopt technology early and then scale functionality incrementally. This approach increases user efficiencies and system success, and also helps engineer systems that are always in the optimal quadrant of strategic value, and platform maturity.