In these days of framework and a standard 'n' layer framework, projects are making use of Struts/JSF in the presentation tier, IoC(Spring) for the middle tier and using Hibernate/iBatis/Toplink for the data mapping.
The methodology and the pattern of using these frameworks is pretty much standard. The development standards for design, coding, testing are again pre-defined.
Given all this, my question is what value does an Architect brings to the project.
There obvious area's where I can see an architect being useful
* Design of Integration Architecture with external services/systems
* Performance Tuning of the application
* Keeping an eye on the code quality and the team to make sure that the standards are being followed
* Setting/Reviewing of the Continous Integration Build process
Again, the above tasks are more or less pre-defined.
External Systems pre-define how they need to be invoked. Not much rocket science left there.
If the Build process are good, lot of statistics for code quality and other code metrics (using tools like Checkstyle, PMD, Java NCSS, JDepend) can be generated on a daily basis.
Application tuning means running Load Tests, Checks for Memory leaks, Object usage etc - again each of these can be determined using tools available in the market.
Based on all this, where do you see the need for an Architect in a project?
Does my project needs an Architect ?