et us consider the most common Architecture patterns and reveal high-level techniques on how to disaggregate and Level Up the components.
Architecture is a very key concept of your quest. Architecture diagrams usually represent the components of a system or a process and the connections between them. These components are in most cases additive, that is, a system is a sum of its connected components, and a process is a composition of its steps. Disaggregation of the system usually consists of identifying and separating the components, and disaggregation of the system usually consists of identifying and separating the steps of the process.
While it may sound simple, in reality, disaggregation may prove to be a hard thing to do. Some components and steps will be quite obvious and easy to separate — others may be hidden or even conceal secret ingredients.
Always assume there is a secret ingredient.
When planning, it is alway recommended to assume there is a secret ingredient or a hidden component in every architecture. That will help you avoid the illusion that your current level of understanding suffices to explain the system or process at hand. Every time — ask yourself, “What is the missing secret ingredient that makes this system work?” Even if there is no such ingredient, this question will protect your crew from losing vigilance. For a wise hero, curiosity about the secret ingredient is better than blind overconfidence.
Architecture disaggregation and improvement
In order to be successful in our quest, we need to have a clear picture of the existing architecture (AS IS). Ideally, the elements of this picture should be granular enough so we are able to fix or replace one or several of these components without rebuilding the whole system. Thus, we could experiment with new architectures and pick one as a suggested temporary or perpetual solution (TO BE).
Let us consider 12 of the most common architectures, 5 processes, and 7 systems, and see how these work and can be leveled.
- Simple chain: sequence of steps
- Assembly chain: several chains converging to construct a compound product
- Funnel: a process with a rapidly diminishing number of items conveyed from step to step.
- Cycle: A repeating process.
- Decision chain: a routing process with multiple destinations
- Demand: a system achieving product-market fit
- Business model
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Management cycle
For each of these items, we will understand what makes this pattern special, what the recommended structures that help map the research space are, what common problems for this architecture exist, and what the best Level Up practices for this architecture improvements throughout your quest are.
We will start with the simple chain.