Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Architecture and Design

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Working in Unison

I reject the images perpetuated by Dilbert that marketing departments are buffoons and that engineering departments must bear the pain they incur. Instead, marketects and tarchitects should work together to ensure that the total system achieves its objectives. Lest I be misunderstood, I will try to be much more explicit: There is much for each side to gain from a strong, collaborative relationship. While this sounds good, learning to work in unison takes time and effort. Are the potential benefits worth the effort?

Let's first consider this question from the perspective of the marketect. Over the years I've found that marketects routinely underestimate or fail to understand the true capabilities of the system created by the development team. Working with tarchitects or other developers can expose marketects to unexpected, and often delightful, system capabilities. Think about systems that can be extended via plug-ins or APIs. I was delighted when a member of the professional services team of an enterprise-class software company I worked for elegantly solved a thorny customer problem by hooking up Excel directly to the system through the client-side COM API. We had never intended the API to be used in this manner, but who cares? One of the primary goals of creating extensible systems is that you believe in a future that you can't envision (extensibility is explored in greater detail in Chapter 8).

Now consider features that can be offered because of choices the development team made when implementing one or more key requirements. In one project I managed, the development team had to build a functional replacement of an existing server. The old architecture had a way of specifying pre- and postprocessing hooks to server messages. Unfortunately, the old architecture's solution was difficult to use and was not widely adopted, so the development team implemented an elegant solution that was very easy to use. Among other things, they generalized the pre- and postprocessing hook message handlers so that an arbitrary number of hooks could be created and chained together. The generalization was not a requirement, but it created new features that the marketect could tap.

A final set of examples illustrates marketing's ability to exploit development tools for customer gain. I've co-opted and subsequently productized developer-created regression test suites for customers so that the operational health of the system could be assessed by the customer onsite. I've converted log files originally created by developers so they could be used as sources of data for performance analysis tools. I'm not advocating goldplating, which is wasteful. But marketects who fail to understand the capabilities of the system from the perspective of its creators lose a valuable opening for leveraging latent opportunities. By establishing strong relationships with tarchitects, marketects can quickly capitalize on their fertile imaginations.

Reflexively, a tarchitect's creative energy is most enjoyably directed toward solving the real problems of real customers. By maintaining a close relationship with marketects, tarchitects learn of these problems and work to solve them. I'm not referring to the problems that the tarchitect would like to solve, that would be cool to solve, or that would help them learn a new technology. I'm talking about the deep problems that don't lend themselves to an immediate solution and are captured on the maps described earlier. Working on these problems provides a clear outlet for the tarchitect's strategic energy.

The following sections describe activities that have proven effective in fostering a healthy working relationship between the marketect and the tarchitect.

Reaching Agreements

Agreement on the project management principles and resultant practices driving the project. A variety of principles can drive any given project. Project leaders select the specific techniques for managing the project from them. Differences on principles and resulting techniques can cause unnecessary friction between marketects and tarchitects which will be felt throughout the entire project organization.

To illustrate, many software projects are driven by a "good enough" approach to quality assurance, but some, especially those dealing with human safety, require much more rigor. These goals motivate marketects and tarchitects to utilize different principles. These different principles motivate different project management practices. Not better or worse, just different.

Identifying and agreeing to the set of principles that drive the project, from the "style" of documentation (informal versus formal) to the project management tools used (MS Project or sticky notes on a shared wall), are an important step toward marketects and tarchitects working in unison. As described earlier, this agreement is also vital to meeting the cultural requirements of the development team.

Making Data Available

Visibility to maps and features is crucial. None of the approaches I've described for capturing and planning for the future are much good if the data are hidden. Get this information into a forum where everyone can share it. Some teams accomplish this through an intranet or a Lotus Notes database. Other teams are experimenting with Swikis, Twikis, or CoWebs with good results, although my own experience with these tools has been mixed and is heavily influenced by team culture. Other teams simply make lots of posters available to everyone. Visibility, in turn, is built on top of a corporate culture founded on trust and openness. Putting up posters merely to look good won't fool anyone. Making a real commitment to visibility—and dealing with the inevitable issues your project team members will raise—is a powerful tool to ensure marketect and tarchitect cooperation.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020