Architecture evaluation in continuous development
Journal article, 2022

In automotive, stage-gate processes have previously been the norm, with architecture created mainly during an early phase and then used to guide subsequent development phases. Current iterative and Agile development methods, where the implementation evolves continuously, changes the role of architecture. Objective: We investigate how architecture evaluation can provide useful feedback during development of continuously evolving systems. Method:
Starting from the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM), we performed architecture evaluation, both in a national research project led by an automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), and at the OEM, in the context of continuous development. This allows us to include the experience of several architects from different organizations over several years. Using data produced during the evaluations we perform a post-hoc analysis to derive initial findings. We then validate and refine these findings through a series of focus groups with architects and industry experts.
We propose principles of continuous evaluation and evolution of architecture, and based on these discuss a roadmap for future research.
In iterative development settings, the needs are different from what typical architecture evaluation methods provide. Our principles show the importance of dedicated feedback-loops for continuous evolution of systems and their architecture.

Architecture evaluation

Continuous software engineering


Magnus Ågren

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design and Software Engineering

Eric Knauss

University of Gothenburg

Rogardt Heldal

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Patrizio Pelliccione

University of Gothenburg

Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI)

Anders Alminger


Magnus Antonsson


Thomas Karlkvist


Anders Lindeborg


Journal of Systems and Software

0164-1212 (ISSN)

Vol. 184 111111

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Software Engineering

Information Science



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