Session type:


Presented by:

Thierry de Pauw


Session time:

02 Oct 14:00 15:00

Session duration:

60 minutes

About the session

In short, Conway's Law says any organisation that designs a system will come up with a system design that copies the organisational communication structures.

Over the years, a good deal of individuals rephrased Conway's Law in various ways.

Every paraphrase brings new insights and non-negligible consequences. Sometimes they give the impression of contradicting each other.

However, in the end, they all come to the same conclusion. The organisation and the system keep each other in balance. Modifying the organisation will have an impact on the system. Modifying the system will have an impact on the organisation. Not considering that will cause friction in the organisation or the system with dramatic consequences.

To be competitive as an organisation in the market, and to effectively design the right thing our customers expect us to deliver, we'd better understand and take advantage of this.

Participant takeaways:

  • Explain how the organisational design and the system design maintain each other in balance.
  • Understand that system design is organisational design and vice-versa, organisational design is system design.
  • Describe the impact of long-living IT systems on organisational design.
  • Acknowledge the organisation might prevent us from building the right thing.
  • Accept we cannot think big but need to start small and grow to satisfy Conway's Law.

Organisation, Scaling

About the speaker(s)