Pivots and Architectural Decisions: Two Sides of the Same Medal?
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Software architecture research has gained maturity over the last decades. It focuses on architectural knowledge, documentation, the role of the architect and rationale for the architecture decisions made. It is widely recognized that considering architecture decisions as first class entities helps in designing and maintaining architectures. In the entrepreneurial and new product development space, the lean startup movement is gaining momentum as one of the most notable ways to develop products. During new product development in highly uncertain environments, speed is the most important factor. Speed to get on the market, speed to learn from your customers, but also speed to tackle technological risks. Because the runway for new product development is short, it is important to experiment and make decisions quickly. The pivot plays a crucial role as a business decision for new product development. Both pivots and architectural design decisions can be seen as highly influential aspects for a product. In our research, we investigate what the fields of architecture research and lean startup could learn from each other. We focus our research on the two most important aspects of these movements: the architecture decision and the pivot, and show that they can be seen as two sides of the same medal representing the technical and the business side of the product.
New Product Development