In my previous post Defining the Anatomy of a Architecture Review Board we talked about getting the right people together to assemble your ARB. In this post we will talk about the expectations of those members. 

What you will find with ARB’s is that “the devil is in the details…”. This is especially true for the details of an ARB’s membership. I have found that if you don’t properly set expectation on the membership it can cause some major disruptions in the operations of the ARB.

There are four major expectations every board should define to ensure success. Those expectations are:

  • Time – Must allocate [x] to [x] hours to the ARB on a weekly basis for architecture design reviews, exception management and ARB tasks. [x] hour should be dedicated for the meeting itself. This is a minimal of [x] hours a week with the potential of [x] hours a week.
  • Meeting Attendance – Meetings will be held bi-weekly. The expectation is that a primary representative is at the meeting and if that individual cannot make it, then the designated secondary individual should attend the ARB.
  • Accountability – Members are accountable for their reviews, decisions and deliverables to bring to the ARB. The Chief Architect evaluates the performance on the members on a monthly basis and reports status to the executive sponsors.
  • Subject Matter Expertise – The ARB team members are to bring their subject matter expertise to the ARB. Specifically to provide the following:
    • Gather and analyze materials as applicable to their domain of expertise
    • Identify impacts of emerging technologies with current portfolio of assets
    • Provide qualitative and quantitative feedback
    • Ensure discussions are fact based and practical
    • Provide solution recommendations and/or methods for exploration of problem
    • Focus on problems holistically across the enterprise that includes the business, operations and IT aspects.


While there can definitely be more expectations that can be set, these general purpose expectations can be leveraged as a base for your ARB.