Architectural Decisions List

Document your architectural decisions and reasoning

The purpose of an Architectural Decisions List is to document your architectural discussions and outline the reasoning for the decisions taken. Detail the architectural decisions you have chosen for realizing the target architecture.


Document the reasoning for the decisions taken


Enterprise Architects


Ongoing throughout project



Before You Start

You can use input from the following artifacts

Materials you will need

Templates for Download

  • Ongoing throughout the project

Write down the reasoning behind your decisions

Every time you consider two or more alternatives in the architecture, you should remind yourself to write down the reasoning behind your decision for one of the alternatives.

See Example

Throughout the creation of your architecture, you make different decisions. For example, you decide to use one Solution Building Block from vendor A instead of an alternative from vendor B.

  • Ongoing throughout the project

Note down the reason why you have chosen one of the options

Was it due to corporate strategy? Maybe there is a corresponding architecture principle that you considered during the decision? You can also include a SWOT analysis to explain the reasoning of your decision.

Or, you decide to implement a required Solution Building Block on your own instead of purchasing a building block.
All of these decisions are documented for later reference and show the reasoning behind your decision.

You're done!


Documenting your architectural decisions is a recurring task, and it is likely that you will add decisions at later stages of your architecture development. An example is when you think about the deployment of your architecture in the context of the Environments & Location Diagram.

As a natural next step, we recommend to work next on the Conceptual Data Diagram.