A profitable information technology (IT) services organization is dependent on widespread asset harvesting (from previous engagements) and scalable asset deployment (into current and future engagements). This activity demands consistency of terminology and notation in the creation and use of engagement artifacts, including work products. This paper presents a standard for architecture description in which a set of conventions for terminology and notation is used to describe and to express the organization of the architecture for an IT system. This standard, the Architecture Description Standard (ADS), is intended to be used by the IBM architecture community. The emphasis is on a minimal set of shared concepts that can be effectively taught to a broad range of IT architects with different skills and that is usable in practice.