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Mon Nov 14 2022

C4 model - getting started workshop

A set of workshops to help you get started with the C4 model


⚡ Tl;dr

  • Getting started with the C4 model in your organization can be hard on your own, without buy-in from the rest of your team
  • Starting with a collaborative approach helps others understand the process and benefits quicker
  • Use our free workshop to get started as a team (👇 link below)

🚀 Let’s kick-off

The C4 model gives teams a lightweight layered approach to bring consistency to visual & verbal language about how systems work; while remaining agile.

If you haven’t heard of the C4 model, start here and read up on why it could benefit your team!

If you’re looking to begin using the C4 model within your teams, a great place to start is with a collaborative group workshop. This is an important first step to inform your team about the C4 model, why it could help and get them on board with this simple way of working. This will give you buy-in without pushing your agenda too hard or too quickly and help integrate the C4 model more seamlessly as a team. The power of the C4 model is unlocked as a team, creating a common understanding of how your systems work with both technical and non-technical peers!

Follow these steps and use our free Miro template for you to facilitate your own interactive workshop!

🏃 How to run these workshops?

There are 5 simple workshops for you to follow that will take you and your team through the basics of the C4 model, defining your systems and creating 3 levels of your architecture together.

You can dedicate 1 hour to complete all workshops, or you can split them up into smaller sessions - whichever suits your team best. Each workshop takes between 5-20 mins to complete.

This is designed as a practical training exercise to learn the basics of the C4 model before moving forward and using the approach more widely in your organization.

🧑‍🏫 Workshops

Introduction (5 mins)

  • A brief introduction to C4 for those new to it (or need a refresher)

Workshop 1 (5-20 mins)

  • Define your systems

Workshop 2 (5-10 mins)

  • Context diagrams - Level 1

Workshop 3 (10-15 mins)

  • Container diagrams - Level 2

Workshop 4 (10-15 mins)

  • Component diagrams - Level 3

Workshop 5 (5 mins)

  • Diagram checklist and hints

🤔 Who is this workshop for?

👥 Tech leads, Architects, Developers, Product leads and all software development people.

  • Are you learning/getting started with the C4 model?
  • Are you introducing the C4 model to your team/organization?
  • Do you lack consistency with your visual language for software architecture?
  • Do you want an agile way of visualizing architecture that isn’t all over the place?

If YES to any of these… you’re in the right place. 😎

Use our free Miro template, or download the workshop for another whiteboard tool/to run this in person. This first step is a scrappy learning process, so it’s okay to use scrappy tools for now - you can improve the tool choice later for long-lived documentation.

You’ll need:

  • Sticky notes and pens
  • A timekeeper
  • A facilitator
  • Your teammates
  • An equal voice, NOT the loudest voice

That’s it - you’re good to go 🙌

If you’d like a facilitator to run these workshops for you, contact us.

🏁 To wrap up

The C4 model is more powerful as a team, and getting people in on the ground floor enables that power to be realized quicker. This workshop gives you a structured way to introduce it in a practical way in the context of your business.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on how the workshop worked for you - we’d love to hear them!

Stay chill 🧊