Finding a system’s volatilities

Figuring out which volatilities a system will have, is seeking the hidden.

Figuring out which feature/functions a system will have, is obvious.

Reminder: A volatility does not equal a component/micro service.

This is the first step in designing the architecture of a system using #Volatility decomposition.

Start easy

Complexity emerges from simplicity.

Start with the volatilities you easily recognize, or have seen come up many times throughout your experience with software.

Notifications is an easy starting point.

List everything

Everything you can come up with, and then put some time in to review and come up with some more. See the sample of a Stocks trading service using volatility decomposition# to get an idea of the scope of volatilities.

When you’ve done this, continue with Finding a system’s components#.


  • J. Löwy (January 27, 2021), “Righting Software - System Design” [Workshop], NDC London 2021.