I just posted a piece to InfoQ on the SEI's new 87 page "Evaluating and improving architectural competence" paper. Towards the end of the report there is a section that discusses principles embodied in the models, expressing that goals should be clearly articulated. One of the examples they used made me chuckle:
Documenting the architecture is likely to lead to high-quality architectures because documentation is essential to effective communication, which is essential to effective understanding and use by the architecture’s stakeholders, which is in turn essential to providing timely and useful feedback.
Don't get me wrong - I love most every aspect of my job, but "documenting the architecture" is not one of my favorite activities by a long shot. Its right up there with filling in timesheets and doing SR&ED claims.
I think part of the problem is figuring out what to document. Most of the stuff I've read suggests spending weeks working through the various architectural views. Obvious guy (aka Heraclitus) says that since change is the only constant, you are taking on a significant maintenance burden in synchronizing the document with the evolving system. Meanwhile, the developers and other architects have filed your treatise in the tl;dr folder.
I agree that "effective communication" is "essential to effective understanding and use by the architecture’s stakeholders", but I'll take providing working code anyday.