The value of architecture in a corporate information technology environment lies in guidance on technology choice and system design. Underlying this is the ability of the architecture team to research the relevant architectural domains well, to formulate
informed strategies, to document these explicitly, and to guide projects in their application. To do this, architects must make
decisions between competing directions, and on difficult trade-offs in their application. These decisions are often based solely on experience, gut-feel, even bias. They are typically arrived at using implicit reasoning such as rules of thumb, and are often poorly articulated. This results in poor corporate technology decisionmaking, and unclearly documented architectural direction. This paper investigates what can be done to improve this decision-making. It positions architectural decision-making as an exercise in balancing design forces, and the role of solution architect as facilitator between
the representative stakeholders. We describe an experience in building a team which has followed this approach in a particular corporate environment, and document the lessons learnt.
The Post-Proceedings of this Festschrift will be formally published in The South African Computer Journal number 41.