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Matthew Skelton | Skelton Thatcher Consulting
How and why to design
your teams for modern
software systems
06 Dec 2016, Mu...
Today
• Conway’s Law (or heuristic)
• Cognitive Load for teams
• Real-world Team Topologies
• Guidelines for team design
About me
Matthew Skelton
@matthewpskelton
Co-founder at
Skelton Thatcher Consulting
skeltonthatcher.com
Books
Team-first digital transformation
30+ organisations
UK, US, DE, India, China
skeltonthatcher.com
How and why to
design your teams
for modern software
systems
Safer, more rapid
changes to
software systems
(Business Agility)
TEAM
TEAM
capabilities
appetite & aptitude
understanding
responsibilities
(assumption)
the team is stable, slowly
changing, and long-lived
#NoProjects
Conway’s Law
(or Conway’s Heuristic)
“organizations which design systems
... are constrained to produce designs
which are copies of the
communication structure...
“if the architecture of the system and
the architecture of the organization
are at odds, the architecture of the
organizat...
“We find strong evidence to support
the hypothesis that a product’s
architecture tends to mirror the
structure of the orga...
homomorphic force
(#Conway  #Yawnoc)
HT @allankellynet
(same) (shape)
Front-end
developers Back-end
developers
‘Reverse Conway’
Tobbe Gyllebring (@drunkcod)
A
B
A B
Design the
organisation architecture
to produce the right
software architecture
Cognitive Load
for teams
Cognitive load
the total amount of
mental effort being used in
the working memory
(see Sweller, 1988)
Cognitive load
Intrinsic
Extraneous (Irrelevant )
Germane (Relevant)
‘Hacking Your Head’: Jo Pearce
See http://www.slideshare.net/JoPearce5/hacking-your-head-managing-information-overload-45-...
We have SCIENCE!
Science since 1988
• Driskell et al, 1999 ‘Does Stress Lead to a Loss of Team Perspective?’ Group Dynamics:
Theory, Resear...
“stress impacts team
performance … by narrowing
or weakening the team-level
perspective required for
effective team behavi...
(not just ‘pop’ science!)
High-performing teams
are hugely effective
Optimise for the team
Match the team
responsibility to the
cognitive load that the
team can handle
Real-world
Team Topologies
DevOpsTopologies.com
Development & Testing
IT Operations / Web Operations
Anti-Type
Database / DBA
DevOps activity
SRE
Component
Supporting (To...
(Can you spot an important
team type that is missing?)
Anti-Types
Anti-Type A – Separate Silos
devopstopologies.com
Dev Ops
Anti-Type B –
Separate DevOps Silo
Dev OpsDevOps
devopstopologies.com
Anti-Type C –
“We Don’t Need Ops”
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Anti-Type D –
‘DevOps’ as another Dev team
devopstopologies.com
Dev Ops
DevOps
Anti-Type E –
DevOps as new SysAdmin team
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Anti-Type F –
Ops embedded in a Dev Team
HT: Matt Franz (@seclectech)
devopstopologies.com
Dev
Ops
DevOps
Anti-Type G – Dev-DBA gap!
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDBA
Types
Type 1 – Smooth Collaboration
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 2 – Fully Embedded
devopstopologies.com
Dev Ops
Type 3 –
Infrastructure-as-a-Service
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 4 – DevOps-as-a-Service
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 5 –
Temporary DevOps Team
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 6 –
‘Facilitating’ DevOps Team
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 7 – SRE Team (Google)
SRE
HT: @kwdhinde
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 8 –
‘Just run my Containers’
HT: @jascbu
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 9 – DB capability in Dev
DBADB Dev
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
Type 10 – DB as a Service
DBaaSDB Dev
devopstopologies.com
Dev OpsDevOps
There is no single ‘right’
team topology, but several
‘bad’ topologies for any one
organisation
Guidelines for
team design
Collaboration vs X-as-a-Service
Collaboration X-as-a-Service
devopstopologies.com
Collaboration vs X-as-a-Service
Collaboration X-as-a-Service
devopstopologies.com
Rapid discovery
No hand-offs
Comms overh...
Supporting & Business Domain
Supporting Business Domain
devopstopologies.com
Inner Topologies
Collaboration XaaS
Within any group there
may be internal
collaborations AND other
X-as-a-Service (XaaS)
...
Team types
Component team
Platform / ’substrate’ team
Supporting / ‘productivity’ team
Product/Feature team
devopstopologi...
Team configuration
devopstopologies.com
Platform / ’substrate’ team
Product/Feature team
Team configuration
Component team
Platform / ’substrate’ team
Product/Feature team
devopstopologies.com
Team configuration
Component team
Platform / ’substrate’ team
Product/Feature team
Supporting / ‘productivity’ team
devops...
https://twitter.com/EricMinick/status/517335119330172930
Discovery vs. Predictability
Team 1
Team 2
Team N
Discovery, rapid learning
Predictable delivery
devopstopologies.com
Established platform (PaaS)
Predictable delivery
devopstopologies.com
Evolution of team topologies
devopstopologies.com
DISCOVER ESTABLISH
Evolution of team topologies
Team 2
Discover Discover
Team N
Team 3
Use
Use
devopstopologies.com
Team 1
Establish
Establis...
Evolve different team
topologies for different parts
of the organisation at
different times to match the
team purpose and ...
Summary
Front-end
developers
Back-end
developers
A
B
A B
Design the
organisation architecture
to produce the right
software architecture
“stress impacts team
performance … by narrowing
or weakening the team-level
perspective required for
effective team behavi...
Match the team
responsibility to the
cognitive load that the
team can handle
DevOpsTopologies.com
There is no single ‘right’
team topology, but several
‘bad’ topologies for any one
organisation
Team configuration
Component team
Platform / ’substrate’ team
Product/Feature team
Supporting / ‘productivity’ team
devops...
Evolution of team topologies
Team 2
Discover Discover
Team N
Team 3
Use
Use
devopstopologies.com
Team 1
Establish
Establis...
Evolve different team
topologies for different parts
of the organisation at
different times to match the
team purpose and ...
Caution
Team topologies alone will
not produce effective
software systems
Also needed:
culture, good engineering,
sane funding models,
clarity of business vision
teamtopologies.com
Upcoming book:
Team Topologies for
effective software systems
by Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais
thank you
Matthew Skelton
@matthewpskelton
skeltonthatcher.com
How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016
How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016
How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016
How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016
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How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016

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For effective, modern, Cloud-connected software systems we need to organize our teams in certain ways. Taking account of Conway’s Law, we look to match the team structures to the required software architecture, enabling or restricting communication and collaboration for the best outcomes. This talk will cover the basics of organization design, exploring a selection of key team topologies and how and when to use them in order to make the development and operation of your software systems as effective as possible. The talk is based on experience helping companies around the world with the design of their teams.

Talk given at DevOpsCon Munich 2016 - https://devopsconference.de/session/how-and-why-to-design-your-teams-for-modern-software-systems/

Published in: Software
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How and why to design your Teams for modern Software Systems - Matthew Skelton- DevOpsCon Munich 2016

  1. 1. Matthew Skelton | Skelton Thatcher Consulting How and why to design your teams for modern software systems 06 Dec 2016, Munich, DE - #DevOpsCon
  2. 2. Today • Conway’s Law (or heuristic) • Cognitive Load for teams • Real-world Team Topologies • Guidelines for team design
  3. 3. About me Matthew Skelton @matthewpskelton Co-founder at Skelton Thatcher Consulting skeltonthatcher.com
  4. 4. Books
  5. 5. Team-first digital transformation 30+ organisations UK, US, DE, India, China skeltonthatcher.com
  6. 6. How and why to design your teams for modern software systems
  7. 7. Safer, more rapid changes to software systems (Business Agility)
  8. 8. TEAM
  9. 9. TEAM capabilities appetite & aptitude understanding responsibilities
  10. 10. (assumption) the team is stable, slowly changing, and long-lived #NoProjects
  11. 11. Conway’s Law (or Conway’s Heuristic)
  12. 12. “organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations” – Mel Conway, 1968 http://www.melconway.com/Home/Conways_Law.html
  13. 13. “if the architecture of the system and the architecture of the organization are at odds, the architecture of the organization wins” – Ruth Malan, 2008 http://traceinthesand.com/blog/2008/02/13/conways-law/
  14. 14. “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 MacCormack, Alan, Carliss Y. Baldwin, and John Rusnak. ‘Exploring the Duality Between Product and Organizational Architectures: A Test of the “Mirroring” Hypothesis’, 1 October 2012. http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=43260.
  15. 15. homomorphic force (#Conway  #Yawnoc) HT @allankellynet (same) (shape)
  16. 16. Front-end developers Back-end developers
  17. 17. ‘Reverse Conway’ Tobbe Gyllebring (@drunkcod)
  18. 18. A B A B
  19. 19. Design the organisation architecture to produce the right software architecture
  20. 20. Cognitive Load for teams
  21. 21. Cognitive load the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory (see Sweller, 1988)
  22. 22. Cognitive load Intrinsic Extraneous (Irrelevant ) Germane (Relevant)
  23. 23. ‘Hacking Your Head’: Jo Pearce See http://www.slideshare.net/JoPearce5/hacking-your-head-managing-information-overload-45-mix @jdpearce
  24. 24. We have SCIENCE!
  25. 25. Science since 1988 • Driskell et al, 1999 ‘Does Stress Lead to a Loss of Team Perspective?’ Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 3, no. 4 (1999): 291. • Fan et al, 2010 ‘Learning HMM-Based Cognitive Load Models for Supporting Human- Agent Teamwork’. Cognitive Systems Research 11, no. 1 (2010): 108–119. • Ilgen & Hollenbeck, 1993 ‘Effective Team Performance under Stress and Normal Conditions: An Experimental Paradigm, Theory and Data for Studying Team Decision Making in Hierarchical Teams with Distributed Expertise’. DTIC Document, 1993. • Johnston et al, 2002 ‘Application of Cognitive Load Theory to Developing a Measure of Team Decision Efficiency’. DTIC Document, 2002. • Sweller, John, 1994 ‘Cognitive Load Theory, Learning Difficulty, and Instructional Design’. Learning and Instruction 4 (1994): 295–312. • Sweller, John, 1988. ‘Cognitive Load during Problem Solving: Effects on Learning’. Cognitive Science 12, no. 2 (1988): 257–285.
  26. 26. “stress impacts team performance … by narrowing or weakening the team-level perspective required for effective team behavior.” – Driskell et al, 1999 Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 1999, Vol. 3, No. 4,291-302
  27. 27. (not just ‘pop’ science!)
  28. 28. High-performing teams are hugely effective Optimise for the team
  29. 29. Match the team responsibility to the cognitive load that the team can handle
  30. 30. Real-world Team Topologies
  31. 31. DevOpsTopologies.com
  32. 32. Development & Testing IT Operations / Web Operations Anti-Type Database / DBA DevOps activity SRE Component Supporting (Tooling / Platform / Build)
  33. 33. (Can you spot an important team type that is missing?)
  34. 34. Anti-Types
  35. 35. Anti-Type A – Separate Silos devopstopologies.com Dev Ops
  36. 36. Anti-Type B – Separate DevOps Silo Dev OpsDevOps devopstopologies.com
  37. 37. Anti-Type C – “We Don’t Need Ops” devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  38. 38. Anti-Type D – ‘DevOps’ as another Dev team devopstopologies.com Dev Ops DevOps
  39. 39. Anti-Type E – DevOps as new SysAdmin team devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  40. 40. Anti-Type F – Ops embedded in a Dev Team HT: Matt Franz (@seclectech) devopstopologies.com Dev Ops DevOps
  41. 41. Anti-Type G – Dev-DBA gap! devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDBA
  42. 42. Types
  43. 43. Type 1 – Smooth Collaboration devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  44. 44. Type 2 – Fully Embedded devopstopologies.com Dev Ops
  45. 45. Type 3 – Infrastructure-as-a-Service devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  46. 46. Type 4 – DevOps-as-a-Service devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  47. 47. Type 5 – Temporary DevOps Team devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  48. 48. Type 6 – ‘Facilitating’ DevOps Team devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  49. 49. Type 7 – SRE Team (Google) SRE HT: @kwdhinde devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  50. 50. Type 8 – ‘Just run my Containers’ HT: @jascbu devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  51. 51. Type 9 – DB capability in Dev DBADB Dev devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  52. 52. Type 10 – DB as a Service DBaaSDB Dev devopstopologies.com Dev OpsDevOps
  53. 53. There is no single ‘right’ team topology, but several ‘bad’ topologies for any one organisation
  54. 54. Guidelines for team design
  55. 55. Collaboration vs X-as-a-Service Collaboration X-as-a-Service devopstopologies.com
  56. 56. Collaboration vs X-as-a-Service Collaboration X-as-a-Service devopstopologies.com Rapid discovery No hand-offs Comms overheads? Ownership clarity Less context needed Slower innovation?
  57. 57. Supporting & Business Domain Supporting Business Domain devopstopologies.com
  58. 58. Inner Topologies Collaboration XaaS Within any group there may be internal collaborations AND other X-as-a-Service (XaaS) relationships devopstopologies.com
  59. 59. Team types Component team Platform / ’substrate’ team Supporting / ‘productivity’ team Product/Feature team devopstopologies.com
  60. 60. Team configuration devopstopologies.com Platform / ’substrate’ team Product/Feature team
  61. 61. Team configuration Component team Platform / ’substrate’ team Product/Feature team devopstopologies.com
  62. 62. Team configuration Component team Platform / ’substrate’ team Product/Feature team Supporting / ‘productivity’ team devopstopologies.com
  63. 63. https://twitter.com/EricMinick/status/517335119330172930
  64. 64. Discovery vs. Predictability Team 1 Team 2 Team N Discovery, rapid learning Predictable delivery devopstopologies.com
  65. 65. Established platform (PaaS) Predictable delivery devopstopologies.com
  66. 66. Evolution of team topologies devopstopologies.com DISCOVER ESTABLISH
  67. 67. Evolution of team topologies Team 2 Discover Discover Team N Team 3 Use Use devopstopologies.com Team 1 Establish Establish …
  68. 68. Evolve different team topologies for different parts of the organisation at different times to match the team purpose and context
  69. 69. Summary
  70. 70. Front-end developers Back-end developers A B A B
  71. 71. Design the organisation architecture to produce the right software architecture
  72. 72. “stress impacts team performance … by narrowing or weakening the team-level perspective required for effective team behavior.” – Driskell et al, 1999 Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 1999, Vol. 3, No. 4,291-302
  73. 73. Match the team responsibility to the cognitive load that the team can handle
  74. 74. DevOpsTopologies.com
  75. 75. There is no single ‘right’ team topology, but several ‘bad’ topologies for any one organisation
  76. 76. Team configuration Component team Platform / ’substrate’ team Product/Feature team Supporting / ‘productivity’ team devopstopologies.com
  77. 77. Evolution of team topologies Team 2 Discover Discover Team N Team 3 Use Use devopstopologies.com Team 1 Establish Establish …
  78. 78. Evolve different team topologies for different parts of the organisation at different times to match the team purpose and context
  79. 79. Caution
  80. 80. Team topologies alone will not produce effective software systems
  81. 81. Also needed: culture, good engineering, sane funding models, clarity of business vision
  82. 82. teamtopologies.com Upcoming book: Team Topologies for effective software systems by Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais
  83. 83. thank you Matthew Skelton @matthewpskelton skeltonthatcher.com

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