Despite having the 'architect' title for about five years now, I still sit for hours in Visio & Powerpoint to painstakingly drag boxes and lines around to describe systems.
While the system definitions themselves have arguably improved as my skill as an architect has increased, there's been no such improvement in the speed or method I use to describe them. My visuals are perfunctory, powerpoint-fu is lacking, and the end result always has plenty of room for improvement. It then gets saved as PDF and shelved as an artefact that is disconnected from all the other architectures, and the system boundaries are inevitably out of date by the time the next person looks at it.
So much craft has been put into better languages, better compilers, and better IDEs for the software developer, I'm absolutely confused - where is the modern 'IDE' for the Software Architect?
Does anyone here really use those UML-based docs to actually learn the systems? Or do they do what I always did and use the trusty step-debugger for a few days and come up with your own mental model of them?
Inevitably, unless someone is working full time on them, they are incomplete and several months out-of-date, and that makes them worthless really.
That's my anecdotal evidence against generating them. I'm at least somewhat sure someone has a conflicting story of how UML "saved the day", but it would be so rare to my experience that I would love to hear it.