Describing and Communicating Software Architecture in Practice: Observations on Stakeholders and Rationale

  • Kari Smolander
  • Tero Päivärinta
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2348)


Despite considerable attention paid on software architecture, the organizational aspects of architecture design remain largely unexplored. This study analyses the stakeholders participating in architecture design in three software companies, their problems in relation to architecture, and the rationale for architecture description they emphasize. This qualitative, grounded-theory-based, study shows how the stakeholders’ rationales for describing architecture exceed the plain programming-in-the-large metaphor, emphasizing such issues as organizational communication, and knowledge creation and management. Whereas designers alone highlighted architecture as the basis for further design and implementation, the other stakeholders emphasized architecture mostly as a means for communication, interpretation, and decision-making. The results suggest a need for further research on practices and tools for effective communication and collaboration among the varying stakeholders of the architecture design process.


General Management Software Architecture Knowledge Creation Architecture Design External Stakeholder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kari Smolander
    • 1
  • Tero Päivärinta
    • 2
  1. 1.Telecom Business Research CenterLappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland
  2. 2.Dept. of Information SystemsAgder University CollegeKristiansandNorway

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