AWS Cloud Operations & Migrations Blog

Scale your workload reviews with the new Review Templates feature in the AWS Well-Architected Tool

The AWS Well-Architected Tool (WA Tool) helps you define and review workloads based on the latest AWS architectural best practices. This allows you to identify areas of strength and improvement in your workloads consistently. You answer questions to evaluate your architecture and receive an improvement plan detailing any high or medium risk issues discovered, along with a corresponding set of remediation steps to remove risks and optimize the workload.

We know that many organizations today consume and build cloud capabilities from central teams, like a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE), or build on top of foundational platforms. This means best practices within Well-Architected reviews are already applied because teams share common platforms or processes.

In this blog post, we will introduce a new feature that will help your organization streamline the review process and optimize resources more efficiently.

Review Templates overview

Review Templates is a new feature of the WA Tool that allows you to create templates with pre-filled answers for Well-Architected and Custom Lens best practices. It helps you scale common answers across your organization, reduces the redundancy in answering the common best practices across your workloads, and helps workload owners focus on the best practices aligned to their workloads.

Creating a Review Template

To use this feature, the first step is to create a review template in the AWS WA Tool:

Well-Architected Tool Create Review Template page

When creating a new template, you are required to specify name and description, and optional fields, like notes and tags. The advantage of the notes section is that when the owner of the review template wants to include additional notes, those notes will be incorporated into the workload notes for the workload(s) that utilize the review template. These details are essential to provide necessary context for workload owners who will subsequently employ this new template for their workloads.

Well-Architected Tool Create Review Template "Specify template details" page

Once you have filled out the template details, choose Next. The AWS Well-Architected Framework lens will be automatically selected as the default option. You can also apply additional lenses, as well as custom lenses, during this step.

Well-Architected Tool Create Review Template "Apply lenses" page

Well-Architected Lenses help you review specific workload types, such as the Serverless Lens, the SaaS Lens, and Custom Lenses, to let you bring your own best practices to complement the existing framework based on your industry, operational plans, or internal processes. Note that any lenses in your template must be updated to the latest versions.

After selecting the lenses to apply to your review template, choose Create Template. You can now view your newly created template with details such as: template details, the list of applied lenses (in the screenshot below, the lenses are: the Well-Architected Framework, the Serverless Lens, and a custom lens), and tags used. You can also edit the template details and add/remove lenses and tags.

Well-Architected Tool created Review Template page

Answering the questions in the template

After creating a review template, your next step will be to answer the questions in the created template—this will allow your teams and workload owners to start their Well-Architected review(s) with a baseline review template and focus on reviewing their specific application.

To answer the questions in the created template, select the Lens you want to use (e.g., Well-Architected) and choose Answer questions to initiate the process.

Well-Architected Tool created Review Template page with "Serverless lens" and "Answer questions" highlighted to show how to answer questions within the template.

The following screenshots show an example of a question from Well-Architected: “OPS 1. How do you determine what your priorities are?” When answering the questions in your review template, you can pre-populate common answers across multiple workloads, mark any best practices that do not apply to the template, and provide essential context with notes and documentation by selecting a reason and adding further details.

By doing this, any workload defined from this template will be pre-filled with all the information you included, reducing the overhead of doing it manually when your workload owners perform the review.

Well-Architected Tool Review Template page with Serverless question as example. Part1/2

Like any other Well-Architected Framework Review, we recommend using the Notes section within each template question to allow the workload owner to provide details as to why the given best practice is in place or not. This provides more context during the individual workload review and drives consistency and standardization of best practices across your teams and workloads, ultimately helping your teams adopt Well-Architected.

Well-Architected Tool Review Template page with Serverless question as example. Part2/2

Define a workload from a review template.

After you create the review template, you can choose to define or share a workload from it. We will first walk through how to define a workload from a template.

From the Define workload dropdown menu, choose Define from review template.

Well-Architected Tool Workload page with the dropdown menu "Define workload" and "Define from review template" highlighted to show how to create a Workload from a template.

Choose the template to apply to your workload review. This will populate the pre-filled best practices answers in the questions of the Well-Architected Framework, lenses, custom lenses, and notes defined in the review template.

Well-Architected Tool "Define from review template" "Select review template" page

After selecting the template, you will have to complete the workload properties; then, you can choose a Profile and apply additional lenses to your workload.

Sharing a template

To streamline your workload reviews, you can share a review template with other teams to ensure alignment and increase efficiency. You can share the template with another IAM user, AWS account, or your whole or subset of, your Organization using the integration with AWS Organizations.

To do this, you can create a template share from the Review Templates section in the WA Tool:

Well-Architected Tool Review Template page with the dropdown menu "Actions" highlighted to show how to share a Review Template

Then, you can share the template by specifying the IAM principals or an entire AWS Organization, or individual organizational unit (OU).

Well-Architected Tool Review Template shares page

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

When you share a review template with your teams, you will be promoting scalability and alignment in architectural reviews and ensure consistent incorporation of best practices. 


Well-Architected Review Templates help you reduce the need to fill in the same answers for best practices common in multiple workloads each time you create a Well-Architected Framework Review. This streamlines the review process and allows you to optimize your resources more efficiently. Well-Architected Review Templates help your organization drive consistency and standardization of best practices across your teams and workloads. When you share a review template among your teams, you promote scalability and alignment in workload reviews and ensure consistent implementation of best practices.

About the authors:

Matias “Lechu” Siri

Lechu is a Well-Architected Solutions Architect who collaborates with partners and customers from various industries to design and implement secure, resilient, and cost-effective workloads based on the best practices of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Sean MacDonald

Sean is a Well-Architected Solutions Architect with a diverse background. He collaborates with multiple cloud providers, designing and implementing sophisticated cloud solutions across a range of industries with a special emphasis on cloud security.