If you haven’t read “Boiling Frogs” by the GCHQ, its is well worth a read. The paper has been made available on GitHub – this is their research paper on software development and organisational change in the face of disruption.
To quote the Exec Summary:
This paper identifies and examines critical business characteristics that promote business and technical agility describing how organisations need “less of” some characteristics and “more of” others. Rather than changing one of these characteristics in isolation, we believe that organisations need to improve holistically, not in terms of a binary step change, but in terms of force-multiplying cohesive change. For each characteristic, we propose a direction of change covering:
• Operating Model (including structure and interaction styles)
• Organisational cultures
• Use of accommodation
• Approach to measurement
• Skills management
• Use of commercial suppliers
• Leveraging Big Data
• Approach to architecture
• Use of processes and techniques
• Approach to Security
• Approach to HR
Finally, this paper includes some of the background reasoning collated from internal blogs related to organisational structuring, types of jobs and the effects of Conway’s Law on business change.
Source: GCHQ Boiling Frog
Conways law states:
organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these
The law is based on the reasoning that in order for a software module to function, multiple authors must communicate frequently with each other. Therefore, the software interfaces structure of a system will reflect the social boundaries of the organization(s) that produced it, across which communication is more difficult. Conway’s law was intended as a valid sociological observation, although sometimes it’s taken in a humorous context.
The paper can be found at https://github.com/gchq/BoilingFrogs