Best Practice

Load all projects

Locate all of the project models from your IT teams and load them into AIM

Being able to surf through these models is helpful to understanding what your current state architecture may be and what may be candidates for reusable components.

Curate components

Review existing project models and perform an initial extraction of what might be your initial set of reusable components.

For each component, ensure that some views contain only those items necessary to use the component.

For example, interfaces to components might be a portal, or some API, e.g. REST, JSON over HTTP, XML/WS, File Transfer.

Components can have several applications and technologies and should have a well-defined purpose.

If you can’t define what a component does, it might represent multiple components or be a poorly Architected component.

Create stories

When you create a story, you make a colour-coded overlay atop a view with a series of text elements.

The story should be about a specific topic and be written so that someone can discover and view the story to learn something valuable about the business or IT platform.

Examples of stories are:

  • How do I use this component?
  • What are the main Security aspects of this project?
  • How is the component implemented internally?
  • What is the main information flow through a business domain?
  • What is the technical debt associated with this component?

By taking a careful approach to story development across your projects and components, you will unlock several essential benefits:

  • reduce loss of IP when there is staff turnover
  • reduce the need for meetings to understand how things work
  • enable faster and better decision making

Add tags to projects, components, views, and stories

User-defined tags can be added to several elements within AIM – projects, components, views, and stories

Consistently tagging items in AIM helps improve discoverability and portfolio analysis.

Some suggestions for tagging might include:

  • Projects – Use the following tag types: Lifecycle/funding stage, Domain, Endorsement status, Architect, Sponsor
  • Components – Use the following tag types: Domain, Owner
  • Stories – Use a ‘Type’ tag with one of the following values: Technical Debt, Project Changes, Security
  • Views – Use a ‘Type’ tag that might have a value of Motivation, Business, Application, Technology, Information, Implementation, or Layered.

You can, of course, use any tag conventions. However, the above examples help you define an approach that works best for you.

Create Rules

You can create validation rules that help improve model consistency.

If your team uses a consistent modelling approach, it becomes more accessible for people in the IT lifecycle to understand those views.

If they can understand the views, then they can provide helpful feedback on those views.

Within the Rules page, if you click Copy default rules, you’ll be given a default set of rules to which you can edit, delete, and add.

Train ArchiBot

ArchiBot is an AI that is built into AIM.

If you have a selection of models that you think represent your preferred modelling approach, then you can tag these as such on the Project Edit and Component Edit page.

This makes those models a candidate for AI training.

From the AIM dashboard, select Train AI, and you can then train ArchiBot on those good models.

Once trained, ArchiBot can offer modelling recommendations that align with those ‘good’ models.

You can go back and re-train ArchiBot at any time.