AWS Cloud Operations & Migrations Blog

Prioritize business-critical needs with the Profiles feature in the AWS Well-Architected Tool

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is a collection of design principles, concepts, and best practices that helps cloud architects build and operate secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for a variety of applications and workloads. Using the Well-Architected Framework Review (WAFR), organizations can measure their cloud workloads against the AWS Well-Architected Framework best practices to help achieve their goals for each workload. In each WAFR, you should have specific outcomes you want to achieve; for example, an improved security posture, disaster recovery planning, or cost management. Using the question sets available through the AWS Well-Architected Tool (AWS WA Tool), you can conduct a WAFR to identify improvement opportunities that support your desired outcomes.

Currently, the Well-Architected Framework contains 60 questions across 6 pillars. Deciding which pillar or questions to focus on when conducting a WAFR can be challenging depending on your organization’s stage of cloud adoption and priorities. For example, if you are running a WAFR to improve availability, decrease incident response times, and validate operational readiness of your workload, then some questions in the framework may have more impact and higher priority to be reviewed. How do you decide what questions are more relevant to your business requirements?

Profiles feature Overview

The new Profiles feature in the AWS Well-Architected Tool enables you to align your WAFR to your organization’s specific priorities. You can create a profile by answering a set of pre-defined questions related to your current business goals and desired workload outcomes. You can then apply the profile to existing or new workloads to generate a set of prioritized Well-Architected questions that are aligned to your goals at that point in time. This gives you an opportunity to focus on business-critical questions first, and then return to the WA Tool to answer the remaining questions later – enabling a continuous improvement process within your organization. With the ability to share profiles, you can scale this business context to other teams, helping to ensure alignment across your organization.

Creating a Profile

To use this feature, you will create a profile in the AWS WA Tool, where you define contextual information around your business, by answering a short questionnaire such as:

  • What is the current cloud adoption phase for the organization architecting or operating the workloads in this profile?
  • What is the business value that workloads in this profile represent for your team, organization, or company?
  • What is the current architectural and operational lifecycle phase of the workloads in this profile?
  • What are the improvement priorities for Well-Architected Framework Reviews (WAFRs) in this profile?

In the example below, this profile will prioritize Well-Architected questions that focus on best practices to improve the reliability, availability and resiliency, after the initial production launch of your business-critical workload. Taking into account that your organization is in the Launch Adoption phase as described in Cloud Adoption Framework here.

Applying a Profile to a Workload

Once the profile is created, you can then apply it to an existing or new workload. For a new workload, you have the option to apply the profile as part of the workload definition process:

For existing workloads, you can add or remove profiles from profile section in the workload details page:

The AWS WA Tool will place all the prioritized questions based on the context you defined in the profile, under a separate header that spans across all six Well-Architected Framework pillars. You can begin your WAFR by focusing on the prioritized questions first. After you have addressed improvements identified in the prioritized questions, you can continue with the remaining questions


After answering all the prioritized questions, you can see the recommended improvement items for them, by applying the filter in the Improvement Plan section of the workload. With the filter in place, you can then focus your workload optimization effort towards prioritized workload best practices, based on business needs defined in the profile.

Sharing a Profile

To scale the review practice, you can share the profile with others in your team or organization to ensure alignment and increase efficiency. You can share the profile with another IAM user, IAM Role, or other AWS Accounts in your Organization. To do this, you need to create a profile share, from the Profiles section in your console.

An invitation to the profile can then be sent by specifying the respective IAM principals or an entire AWS Organization (or individual organizational unit). Refer here for more details about IAM principals.

Invitees to the share will then be able Accept or Reject the invitation under the “Share Invitations” section of the AWS WA Tool console in their respective accounts.


In summary, you can now use the new Profiles feature in the AWS WA Tool to help you prioritize questions and best practices in your AWS Well-Architected Framework Review, based on your business, organization, and workload needs. This new capability will help you become more efficient in your review and improvement process, by allowing you to focus on the questions that are prioritized to meet your workload objectives.

AWS Well-Architected Framework is a set of guiding design principles developed by AWS to help organizations build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for a variety of applications and workloads. Use the AWS Well-Architected Tool to review your workloads periodically to address important design considerations and ensure that they follow the best practices and guidance of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. For follow up questions or comments, join our growing community on AWS re:Post.

About the authors:

Stephen Salim

Stephen Salim is a Senior Solutions Architect for the AWS Well-Architected team. He has worked at AWS since 2013 in multiple roles. As part of the AWS Well-Architected team, Stephen’s focus is to work with AWS customers and AWS Partner Network (APN) partners of all sizes to help them build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications.

Carlos Perez

Carlos Perez is a Solutions Architect for the AWS Well-Architected team. He is a subject matter expert in Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon EventBridge and is passionate about all things related with Monitoring and Observability on AWS. As part of the AWS Well-Architected team, Carlos works with customers and partners helping them to build secure, cost-effective and resilient architectures in the cloud.