Consider using Bytesize Architecture Sessions if you experience any of the following common difficulties:

  • Codebase Knowledge. Planning for large work requires a solid understanding of current systems. Teams can end up with silos of knowledge, and not see the big picture
  • Technical Debt. The system has grown and accidental complexity has not been addressed. Understanding how to solve the debt while still shipping features requires some planning
  • Evolving teams. It is difficult to maintain cohesive knowledge in a team that has changed over time
  • All of the above, likely compounded with process problems

These are some of the improvements I witnessed when running the sessions with different teams. The teams

  • Think about their systems
  • Develop skills in systems modelling
  • Learn how to model systems together, which improves team dynamics
  • As more sessions happen, they increasingly have an homogeneous understanding of the system
  • See the value of having a shared mental model
  • Have better tools to model potential solutions
  • Learn to actively listen

Bytesize Sessions are especially valuable for new members of the team or those with less experience. This is especially true in teams that don’t do pair programming or have deep silos. The Sessions “open up the ‘world’” It is hard to overstate how important it is to have an accurate mental model. Studies prove that mental models are particularly important when making difficult and time constrained decisions(Besnard et al. #)1.

  1. Denis Besnard, David Greathead, Gordon Baxter. When mental models go wrong. Co-occurrences in dynamic, critical systems.. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 2004, 60 (1), pp.Pages117-128. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2003.09.001. Hal-00691813