An Architecture Decision Record (ADR) is a document that captures important decisions made during the design and development of a software system. These decisions can range from high-level architectural choices to more detailed technical decisions. ADRs are a valuable tool for teams because they help to document and communicate decisions, provide a record of the reasoning behind those decisions, and allow for easier tracking and management of changes to the architecture over time.
Writing a useful ADR involves several key steps:
- Identify the decision that needs to be documented. This could be a decision about the overall architecture of the system, a specific technology to use, or any other important decision that affects the design or implementation of the system.
- Clearly state the problem that the decision is intended to solve. This helps to provide context and understanding for the decision, and can also help to identify potential alternative solutions.
- Describe the decision that was made, including any constraints or assumptions that were considered. Be as specific and detailed as possible, so that the decision can be easily understood and implemented by others on the team.
- Explain the reasons for the decision, including any trade-offs or advantages that were considered. This is an important part of the ADR, as it helps to justify the decision and provide evidence for why it was the best option.
- Include any relevant information about the implementation of the decision, such as code snippets or diagrams. This can help to provide a more complete picture of the decision and make it easier for others to understand and implement.
- Finally, make sure to include any relevant references or links to further information about the decision. This can be useful for teams that want to dig deeper into the topic or for future readers who are looking for additional context.
Writing ADRs is a valuable practice for teams because it helps to improve communication and collaboration, and can also provide a valuable reference for future work on the project. By documenting important decisions in a clear and concise way, teams can avoid making the same mistakes or re-visiting the same decisions in the future, and can focus on building the best possible system.