Decentralizing the Practice of Architecture at Xapo Bank#



  • Company had horizontal teams, separating architects from engineers.

  • This caused big number of handoffs and slow/broken feedback loops.

  • They changed the org structure to vertical teams aligned with the core products.

  • They implemented few processes targeting faster decision making and broader knowledge sharing. Namely:

    • Architecture Decision Records (ADR).

    • Domain-Driven Design (DDD).

    • Architecture Advisory Forum (AAF) and Architectural Advice Process (AAP).

  • They used ticket tracker (Jira) to host ADRs and measure their progress through statuses: drafted, proposed, accepted, and adopted.

  • ADRs linked to development stories and tasks.

  • They allowed decisions to be taken without consensus.

  • They provided a safe environment to make mistakes and re-evaluate past decisions.