Have a look at this video clip before we get into the concept of understanding performance.
Fiat Bravo vs. Ferrari 550 Maranello vs. Ferrari F1
The three cars in this video are clearly very different. For a formula one car the objective is easy to define. “Get around the track as fast as possible while meeting all FIA regulations and maintaining appropriate (two race) reliability of every component.”
For a Ferraro F550 it is a little more difficult to define. Probably somerhing like “Meet super-luxury standards and reliability for a road going sports car while offering super-car performance at a super-car price-point.”
For the fiat it is more likely “provide basic mass producable budget transportation”
Based on their specific goals it is obvious that we would define performance slightly differently.
For the F1 car it is about winning the constructors championship. For the GT car it is being recognized as the best luxury sports car. For the fiat it is about sales and market share in the budget category.
The point is that for three products produced by the same organisation the goals are completely different and the performance goals are consequently completely different as well.
The key is understanding your goals, understanding how you could measure success, and then target optimizing those metrics.
My view is that architecting for performance starts here. It isn’t a one- time thing either. This is why monitoring is key.