Do you have any architectural principles that you adhere to? Or even any that you use on a regular basis? I would hope that if you are building systems, you would have a set of principles that help guide you along. However I'm not sure that most companies do have a set of guidelines that they use to build software.
I know that the really good consultants and architects out there, the successful ones that constantly find work, often bring guidelines with them at a new job or engagements. The decision they make, which might not seem to be related from project to project, are often actually related by a set of rules which help to create that regular success.
The world of technology changes quickly, and the foundation on which you build systems can change. It may require you to re-examine your core beliefs about what is the best way to proceed in creating a system. Without having that set of core beliefs, however, you don't have a way to judge if you are making good decisions to adapt to the changing situations. Instead you're constantly redefining what is good.
The best software companies in the world, those that consistently build great software, do it in one of two ways. One is by having incredibly talented developers. They have those off the chart coders that can visualize how systems work in ways most of us never will. That's not the way most of us can count on because most of us aren't off-the-charts talented developers.
The other way, the way companies get to the CMM Level 5, is by having principles and sticking to them. They consistently do things in the way that allows them to repeat their efforts that succeed and eliminate those that don't. That's the way most of us should work, and the way that will help all of us improve our work over time.
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