< Methods

IT architecture sketching



Defining the IT architecture is complex and requires contributions from and interactions between software designers and/or architects. Sketching facilitates these discussions.


Come together around a whiteboard and draw the high-level architecture based upon discussion before and during the drawing process. Stay away from details, unless they are important for the overall design.


  • The appropriate people (3–5 people with the required expertise is ideal).
  • An understanding of the top-level requirements before starting.
  • A whiteboard and markers.
  • A camera to photograph the resulting sketch to detail later.

In practice

Most companies use architecture sketching at the beginning of the design process, and as a kick-off for major changes to a part of the architecture.

Phase(s) of use

In the following project phase(s) it architecture sketching can be used:

  • Design