What does Conway’s law teach us about DevOps?

DevOps 4 min read
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DevOps implementation in organisations has become the turning point for them to not only increase their business transactions but has also enabled organisations to reduce delays that were constituent in the IT industries.

Based on the fact, Dr. Melvin Conway back in 1967 submitted a research paper to the Harvard Business Review, which stated that “Organisations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organisations”.

Now, how do we link this to the DevOps culture? Or what is Conway’s law trying to teach us concerning DevOps practices? DevOps consultants in the contemporary era are aware of its implications in the present team structures. Here we will provide you with an overview of Conway’s Law on the DevOps perspective.  

Comparison of Conway’s Law in contrast to the DevOps culture?

Conway’s Law focuses on the design structure of the organisation and the communication standards that are aligned together for effective business procedures.

What does Conways Law teach us about devops

In other words, how the teams within an organisational frame communicate depicts how efficient their business operations are. Conway suggested that aligning business procedures to team structures and communication channels can unlock the hidden potential of the company’s success.

DevOps utilises a similar concept in their framework, considering that two teams, development, and operations team which used to work separately for many years were integrated into one team structure to perform tasks more efficiently. Not to mention that the concepts of DevOps clicked, as it enabled the organisations to improve their efficiency and also overcome the delivery bottlenecks. 

Misaligned teams – A continuous loss for the IT industries

Something about misaligned teams and IT does not go hand-in-hand, because of there a continuous flow of new projects that the IT industries deal with. It is worth mentioning that IT industries continuously implement procedures to improve their organisational systems to keep up with the fast-paced market. So, it’s only natural that team structures should meet with the designated criteria for delivering quick and efficient projects.

The team structures made on a traditional basis make innovation difficult because each team has a different mindset on how they perceive the project deliverable. Conway’s law has provided us the way on how we can design teams and systems that are on the same thinking level to execute projects; hence, avoiding the severe consequences of team misalignments.

Functional-Oriented Organizations – A creation of the DevOps Culture

DevOps practices in modern-day organizations have enabled the rise of the performance-based or functional-based way of conducting businesses. These organizations are centralized around expertise and have helped numerous individuals to effective career growth and substantial development of their skills. Not to mention that most who are benefitting from this team setting are the companies themselves, considering that the flow of projects has exponentially increased; while the delays are significantly reduced.

In hindsight, it can be observed that Conway’s law has paved the way for individual development, along with organisational success. In addition to that, modern DevOps consultants are well-aware of the importance of team structures for delivering IT projects; hence, the success of DevOps environment can be depicted. 

DevOps Transformation – A Headache in itself

It is discussed time and time again that DevOps transformation doesn’t happen overnight, it requires continuous planning and precise strategising to ensure a noteworthy transition to DevOps.

It is important to understand that aligning teams to the goals of the business requires a lot of hectic procedures. For starters, you can share key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboards to make sure that the teams are aligned with the objectives of the business. Furthermore, the teams are built based on the nature of projects, which means that each team will consist of individuals who are completely autonomous in their own set of skills.

However, it is certain that if such teams are structured, it will eliminate any communication issues, hence, delivering projects can be easily dealt with, eliminating the need to go through the delivery lifecycle.  

Popular Companies that have adopted the DevOps way of doing Business 

Conway’s law has created a benchmark for modern organisations to blend team structures for better results. This is precisely the reason why we are so obsessed with the DevOps team setting, and so are the other renowned organisations that have adopted them.

Amazon and Netflix are the leading organisations that have adopted DevOps in their production operations. Amazon is one of the reasons why other smaller organisations have started to consider and adopt DevOps as well. It provides countless opportunities to attain market orientation, which according to DevOps consultants, can be possible by incorporating members of different fields into a single team structure. It further makes way to embed different automated self-service software that creates production like-for-like environments, prepares automated tests and executes deployments. 

How does Conway’s Law help in the DevOps transformation?

In hindsight, it can be said that the interaction between the operations and the development team is not similarly as effective as a development and security team. However, Conway’s laws make you want to rethink strategies. For instance, the social boundaries between software development and quality assurance in the same organisation can be bothersome.

In correspondence to this, the quality of any software application can only be measured after the developers are almost done with the alpha version of the software. However, if the quality of the software’s working is facing problems, then it will be very costly to trackback the bug back to its source. Not to mention that it creates additional pressure on the developers who are usually used to working in a harmonious manner. Therefore, in order to eliminate such a difference in mindset, DevOps transition has helped IT sectors to touch the taste of glory quickly. 

Now, if you wish to acquire DevOps Consultancy, irrespective of your workforce and the type of IT sector you belong in, contact Scapegoat and get yourself sound and efficient DevOps consultation. 

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