My Mom called me one time and said that she thought she broke her computer. I asked how it happened and she said “I don’t know. I think I pushed the wrong button”. I responded immediately, “Mom, if there was a button that could destroy your computer, we wouldn’t have any computers.” …and everyone would sue the manufacturers out of existence.
While this may be humorous, (I like it), it also makes several points about human nature. First, people make mistakes. They push the wrong button regularly. We can examine their motives and uncover their intentions. Some push the wrong button by accident. Some push it to satisfy their curiosity, and others because someone told them not to. We should know this. People push the wrong button! They do it while they are developing code, while administering the servers, and while using the website or application. As Architects we should be building robust systems which can not only withstand this activity, but can respond to this behavior in a graceful manner.
We are responsible in the eyes of our clients, customers, and even our IT staff. This may seem to be an excessive burden for an IT Architect, but I believe there must be one single person responsible for the implementation of IT projects. Now, in the corridors of management this person would be the Project Manager, or Program Director. I believe the organization may hold them accountable, but it is the combination of the Project Manager and the Architect who must be responsible for project delivery. The Architect owns the technical issues, and the PM owns the resource acquisition and allocation issues. To put it another way, the PM owns the boxes on the Gnatt chart and the Architect owns their contents.