Reference architectures for product families
The uncontrolled growth of system complexity is a key challenge facing the high-tech industry today. It may lead to slower innovation, reduced system reliability and unacceptable growth in development resources or time to market.
The uncontrolled growth of system complexity can be combated by finding the right feature sets, development concepts, system structures and mechanisms. These are the essentials of a ‘reference architecture’ which operates as a backbone for developing a product family. It represents the company’s guidelines for system design, combining the ‘what’ with the ‘how-to’. As such, it incorporates a concise integration of key solution patterns that addresses the interests of all stakeholders.
Define the goals and investigate the system-in-context: analysis using Customer, Application, Functions, Concepts and Realization (CAFCR) views
Create reference concepts, structures and mechanisms focusing on key elements
Discuss and validate them, then repeat
Present, share insights and create support within in the organization