A Request for Comments (RFC) is a formal document that includes context-dependent design and architectural ideas to facilitate team collaboration and decision-making. Nearly all digital native and scaleup organizations use RFCs to capture decisions around design, architecture, techniques and the ways their teams collaborate. Mature organizations have used RFCs in autonomous teams to drive better communication and collaboration, especially in cross-team decision-making. They're often used as a process to review and ratify architecture decision records. The result is a transparent collaborative process that allows those affected by a decision the chance to weigh in and provide input before the decision is ratified. So often in fast-moving environments, the reasoning leading up to design decisions gets lost along the way and teams who are responsible for implementing the decision are left scratching their heads. An RFC provides a decision audit record that benefits future team members and captures the technical and business evolution of an organization. An RFC can be a valuable tool for facilitating evolutionary architecture. For the best outcome, though, we recommend taking a lightweight approach to RFCs. If not narrowly scoped and to the point, these documents tend to grow in length over time and start resembling traditional solution architecture documents that are filed away and forgotten.
As organizations drive toward evolutionary architecture, it's important to capture decisions around design, architecture, techniques and teams' ways of workings. The process of collecting and aggregating feedback that will lead to these decisions begin with Request for Comments (RfCs). RfCs are a technique for collecting context, design and architectural ideas and collaborating with teams to ultimately come to decisions along with their context and consequences. We recommend that organizations take a lightweight approach to RFCs by using a simple standardized template across many teams as well as version control to capture RfCs.
It's important to capture these in an audit of these decisions to benefit future team members and to capture the technical and business evolution of an organization. Mature organizations have used RfCs in autonomous teams to drive better communication and collaboration especially in cross-team relevant decisions.