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Accidental Architects - how HR designs software systems - Team Topologies - flowcon.fr - 2020-11-12

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Who designs the architecture of your software systems? Conway's Law suggests that HR may be strongly shaping software architecture by deciding how teams are composed and interrelate. Do you want HR designing your software architecture?

Organization architecture and software system architecture need to be co-designed to avoid friction from Conway's Law. Based on ideas in the book Team Topologies, this talk by co-author Matthew Skelton explains how and why to bring together HR and Engineering to shape team boundaries and interactions for effective software delivery.

From a talk at FlowCon 2020

Published in: Software
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Accidental Architects - how HR designs software systems - Team Topologies - flowcon.fr - 2020-11-12

  1. 1. TeamTopologies.com @TeamTopologies Accidental Architects How HR designs software systems Matthew Skelton co-author of Team Topologies @matthewpskelton FlowCon 2020 Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash
  2. 2. Team Topologies 2 Organizing business and technology teams for fast flow Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais IT Revolution Press Order via stores worldwide: teamtopologies.com/book
  3. 3. topology the way in which constituent parts are interrelated or arranged Greek: τοπολογία (τόπος == ‘place’) 3
  4. 4. 4 Philip Fisher-Ogden, Director of Engineering at Netflix: “thanks for your insightful articulations of devops topologies. They inspired many discussions and helped us to think about what model Netflix teams could be/are using.” https://twitter.com/philip_pfo/status/999074792123740160
  5. 5. 5 Crystal Hirschorn, Director of Engineering at Condé Nast International “Your topological models resonated extremely well on both the Dev and Ops side btw! I like the balanced arguments, e.g. different perspectives, for each pattern.” https://twitter.com/cfhirschorn/status/1103387659890819073
  6. 6. “innovative tools and concepts for structuring the next generation digital operating model” Charles T. Betz, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research 6
  7. 7. Who designs the architecture of the software systems? 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. HR department acts as accidental architects of the software system 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.” – Mel Conway, 1968 13 Conway’s Law
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. “…products tend to ‘mirror’ the architectures of the organizations in which they are developed. This dynamic occurs because the organization’s governance structures, problem solving routines and communication patterns constrain the space in which it searches for new solutions.” – MacCormack et al, 2012 15
  16. 16. MacCormack et al, 2012 Analysis using Design Structure Matrix (DSM) method to analyse boundary and interface relationships 16
  17. 17. MacCormack et al, 2012 17
  18. 18. “We find strong evidence to support the hypothesis that a product’s architecture tends to mirror the structure of the organization in which it is developed.” – MacCormack et al, 2012 18
  19. 19. Sosa et al, 2004 19 Jet engine design & manufacture
  20. 20. “…we provide empirical evidence that product ambiguity exists, and it is more likely to be present across organizational and system boundaries.” – Sosa et al, 2004 20
  21. 21. Gokpinar et al, 2010 21 Automotive design & manufacture
  22. 22. “…mismatches between product architecture and organizational structure [are] positively associated with quality problems.” – Gokpinar et al, 2010 22
  23. 23. 23 Take advantage of the mirroring effect of Conway’s Law
  24. 24. Reverse Conway Maneuver 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. Design the organisation to mirror the desired system architecture 26
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.” – Mel Conway, 1968 28 Conway’s Law
  29. 29. 29
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. “if the architecture of the system and the architecture of the organization are at odds, the architecture of the organization wins” – Ruth Malan, 2008 33
  34. 34. 34 Organization design is a constraint on the “solution search space”
  35. 35. 35 Rapid flow of change
  36. 36. 36 Rapid feedback from running systems
  37. 37. 37
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. 39 Handovers (can) kill flow
  40. 40. 40 Team ownership must include: Releasability Testability Operability / Supportability
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42 → flow of change → →
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. Group Trust Levels 45
  46. 46. “an individual’s social network (meaningful relationships) is typically in the order of 100–200 individuals” - Robin Dunbar 46 https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.150292
  47. 47. 47
  48. 48. 48
  49. 49. 49 Trust dynamics can change when crossing a Dunbar boundary. Expect different rules & non-linear effects.
  50. 50. 50 Private car salesCommercial car sales Car leasing [example]From Team Topologies, chapter 3 (page 53)
  51. 51. 51
  52. 52. 52
  53. 53. 53 Private car sales Commercial car sales Car leasing
  54. 54. Co-design the organisation and the system architecture 54
  55. 55. 55
  56. 56. Team-first approach 56
  57. 57. Team Topologies 57 Organizing business and technology teams for fast flow Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais IT Revolution Press Order from Amazon or other retailers: https://teamtopologies.com/book
  58. 58. Workbook coming soon... Team Topologies for Remote Teams 58 for Remote Teams Resources: teamtopologies.com/remote-first Icon by Pixel perfect from www.flaticon.com
  59. 59. TeamTopologies.com @TeamTopologies Sign up for news and tips: TeamTopologies.com
  60. 60. Remote- Friendly Training 🠊 teamtopologies.com/training 60
  61. 61. Remote-Friendly Assessments 🠊 teamtopologies.com/assessments 61
  62. 62. Resources 62 teamtopologies.com/remote-first (links, slides, video) github.com/teamtopologies (templates, assessments, etc)
  63. 63. Thank you! info@teamtopologies.com 66 Matthew Skelton, Conflux @matthewpskelton Manuel Pais, Independent @manupaisable Copyright © Conflux Digital Ltd 2018-2020. All rights reserved. Registered in England and Wales, number 10890964 Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com - used under license

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