One-Liner ADR

by Chance Smith

This week has been a week of thinking through repeatable processes. I’ve been on-call and helped consult on a project. That’s made me think about making things easier for the next person.

So, what is an ADR?

ADR - Architecture Decision Record

A record of a decision made. It’s a way to document a decision’s context, decision, and consequences. It’s a way to document the why and how of a decision.

Kent C. Dodds uses them in projects. So others can follow, and each decision gets recorded.

Your first ADR

Don’t overthink it. Just create a file in your project. Slack has a Canvas feature where you can drop notes or use a Google Doc. The point is to document the decision.

Just one file with a one-liner. That’s it. You can add more later.

The One-Liner ADR

A one-liner ADR could look like:

[date] – We found out [scenario/context]. So, we’ve decided [decision]. We [manifesto value or rule].


08/25/2023 – We don’t want the security risks and ownership headaches. So, we’ve decided to set up projects under their accounts. We don’t host our clients’ production servers.

The Point Is

We all forget. ADRs is a process you and your team can follow.