One of the problems associated with architects and architecture is the ivory tower syndrome, where others on the team think that an architect is there to dictate from afar, forcing the team to adopt unrealistic principles and designs. In Should application architects be separated from developers?, Kevin expresses his experiences in seeing this in the real world.
I've recently encountered a project where the application architects are very detached from the development team. The Architects sit on high making proclamations for the developers to follow. They draw diagrams, proclaim standards and generally ignore pragmatic needs, instead focusing on white papers, rambling meetings, and modelling tools.
This is one of the reasons that architects get a bad name, but it doesn't have to be this way. When we're talking about application architects, their role needs to be firmly placed within the team in which they are working. Whether they perform hands-on development is a different question, but they need to be entrenched in reality in order to make the right decisions and help the team meet their overall goal - producing a system that is fit for purpose and of a high technical quality. As Kevin says in the final paragraph of his blog entry...
Good architecture needs to be pragmatic and responsible.
Simon is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture, and the author of Software Architecture for Developers (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility). He’s also the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the founder of Structurizr, which is a collection of open source and commercial tooling to help software teams visualise, document and explore their software architecture.