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Identify Stakeholders

Stakeholder perspectives are a distinguishing feature of SARM, but they are not essential to its use. If you want to conduct a quick architecture analysis and don’t need to see how the analysis looks from the perspectives of different stakeholders, just leave out the stakeholders, and you have “SARM Lite”.

But any substantive initiative, once it has defined what it is aiming to achieve, should begin by identifying and classifying stakeholders. Involving stakeholders, and thinking about requirements and decisions from their perspectives, helps an initiative reach a successful outcome. The SARM process encourages the involvement of stakeholders to make architectural analysis a group activity, and one valuable product of the process is better mutual understanding of the varying interests and desires of different stakeholder groups.

SARM allows you to record up to 15 stakeholders or stakeholder groups, and if you record their varying interests in the collection of architecturally significant requirements that describe your desired solution, you will be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of proposed architectures from their different perspectives.

It is a good idea to adopt a model to identify and classify your initiative’s stakeholders. This helps you to understand the likely impact and involvement of them in your work, and determine the right level and style of communication and interaction with them. Read this article if you want to know more about how to conduct a stakeholder analysis workshop. Many initiatives will identify and work with more than 15 stakeholders. For SARM, we suggest you identify up to 15 of the most engaged or affected stakeholders. In the SARM spreadsheet tool, they are recorded in the Context worksheet.

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