Gartner Research

Concepts of Pace Layering in System Design

Published: 28 November 2011

ID: G00223857

Analyst(s): Mike Rollings , Chris Howard


This document introduces and extends the pace layer concept for IT professionals.

Table Of Contents



  • Some Background: Frank Duffy and Stewart Brand
  • Pace Layering as a Portfolio Analysis Technique
  • Pace Layering as a Fractal Concept
    • "Rapid Change" Depends on Your Point of View
    • Relationships Among Layers
  • Connective Tissue
    • Managing Technical Debt
    • Connectivity Within and Between Layers
    • Cross-Context Connectivity
  • Connecting Partners
  • Recommendations
    • Identify the Decisions That Will Benefit From Pace Layers
    • Pay Attention to Movement and How It Affects Others
    • Do Not Become Fixated Solely on the Rate of Change
    • Use the Gartner for Technical Professionals Reference Architecture to Evaluate Connective Tissues


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