Today I want to discuss a methodology I have been working on for a while now.
For the last ten years, when developing a solution architecture for clients, I have always stuck to the KISS principle. If you are unfamiliar with that one, it means "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" - which is a good advice when you submit your solution to the review of your peers - other technical specialists and assorted IT professionals. A simple design usually wins through simplicity - it is easy to grasp, easy to implement and easy to maintain and expand on. By KISSing other technical people, you usually get the design you want approved. If you want to read more about KISS, see the wikipedia article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle.
The problem I found with KISS is that when you pitch your design to other types of audience, for example upper management, it tends not to be accepted. Initially I thought it may be that management are less prone to like being called "stupid" (which is why I always phrased it "Keep it simple, silly!" - but that never improved things much), but the more I thought about it, I realised that those audiences just expect more out of a solution design than just simplicity.
In other words - KISSing the upper management is not enough.
This is why I decided to come up with my own new principle that extends KISS and adds the things that upper management really wants from a solution architect:
Keep It Simple, Stable, Available, Scalable and Secure.
By KISSASSing upper management, you are almost assured to get the project you are tendering for, or get your solution approved. I think KISSASS should be practiced - do not think you are ready to KISSASS today - it does require a lot of experience - which is why more experienced professionals may get projects over others - they are much better KISSASSers.
I intend to come up with some KISSASS best practices, KISSASS guidelines and perhaps some flow charts explaining how you should practice KISSASS in other aspects of life. If you have some ideas - please share them with me in the comments for this post.
But in the meanwhile - have a great April!