Here is my process for creating top-down architecture diagrams:
- Draw hand diagram if it’s a new or big concept (I can show you some scans – i have multiple colors and stencils – they look really neat)
- Make arch summary slide (usually 3 boxes, arrows to the right 🙂
- Make top-level arch slides (for core components)
- Make 1 or more drill-down diagrams as needed (to clarify concept for team, document scope for vendor, enforce a structure on a larger team)
- Make network diagram (this is where you finally put brand names in like MySQL and RabbitMQ and RoR). you may actually make two: 1) for where we are today and 2) where we should be if this architecture existed
- Scan hand drawn, output PDF of diagrams, and upload PPT, PDF, and scans to your instituionalized knowledge base
I have been answering this question a lot lately, so I figured that I would write it down.