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The SARM Process

This section describes the overall SARM process.  Later sections will provide detailed guidance on how to use the Excel software tool to support analyses that apply the SARM process.

The SARM process is divided into two parts, Creating the Context and the Trade-off Analysis.  The first activity, Identify stakeholders, is typically conducted in a separate meeting with just the project sponsor and the architect or designer that takes place at the outset of the project.  The remaining activities of Part 1 are ideally conducted in a single substantial workshop.  The two activities of Part 2 are also ideally conducted in a single workshop, the Trade-off Analysis Workshop.

In between these two activities there is often a substantial passage of time, when the solution options that will be evaluated are created.  This might be done by in-house architecture or design teams, or be part of a tender process involving external bidders, or a combination of the two.  The work conducted in Part 1 makes a substantial contribution to develop an understanding of the requirements, which might form the basis for a project brief for internal design teams, or the requirements section of a Request for Proposal.  Part 1 therefore creates the context for both the architecture/design activity and the subsequent evaluation of alternatives.

If SARM is being used to analyse an existing architecture, there might not be a need to see the analysis from the perspectives of different stakeholders. In this situation, it is possible to start with the Architecturally Significant Requirements and proceed right through to the Trade-off Analysis in one workshop. This can often be accomplished in just an hour or two for the entire process.

Click below to read more about each activity.

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