As an architect, you should organize your efforts around value as your customers see it, as well as the steps required to realize that value (the value stream). Once you've defined your plans, you need to turn those plans into a value-creating product.
Tests are an ideal tool to drive the efforts of everyone—architects, developers, operators, stakeholders, QA professionals—toward the ultimate goal of producing value. A good test simultaneously serves as a focal point for value and documents all parties' shared understanding of that value.
That shared understanding facilitates collaboration. Tests enable ideas about design to be communicated vertically and horizontally throughout a team. They also serve as documents that anyone can use to review or refine the vision of value for a feature or product.
A test—a true, executable test—gives you a concrete artifact that tells management when a feature is (or will be) available, tells developers how a feature should work, and is never out of date.
Architects need to codify technical visions. To do that, they should start with a clear statement of value. A test that documents for everyone that a vision has been realized serves its purpose very well. We call this kind of test a vision test.
To provide guidance to development teams, a chain of smaller tests can be used to link claims in the vision test with the details of delivering value to consumers.
With luck, we've shown here that tests are a powerful tool that architects and development teams can use to work together.
Go forth and specify.