The Conway's Law


The Conway’s Law is an observation that the design of systems are significantly affected by the communications structure of the organization.

Around 1967, Melvin Conway had observed that how organizations were structured would have a strong impact on any systems they created.

Conway’s Law is a little-understood yet incredibly powerful concept that describes how deeply connected an organization’s communication structure is with the final product or service it produces.

The law is based on the reasoning that in order for a software to function, multiple authors must communicate frequently with each other. Consequently, the software interface structure of a system will reflect the social image of the organizations that produced it, across which communication is more difficult. 

"... Any organization that designs a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure..."

In other terms, it means software or automated systems end up "shaped like" the organizational structure they are designed in or designed for. Some interpretations of the law say this organizational pattern mirroring is a helpful feature of such systems, while other interpretations say it's merely a result of human nature or organizational bias.

Conway's Law reflected the perception of the mirroring of organizational idiosyncrasies in its solutions and software – in practice, the quality, complexity and waste in the development of a project reflected the social reality and communication of the organizations that produce it.

In reality, software is often a very complex subject, and producing software is an incredible challenge that requires an understanding of psychology, art, design, digital logic, data relationships, systems, tooling, leadership, teamwork, and much more. 

From Google to the financial sector, companies in every industry have adopted Conway’s Law as a way to spur innovation.

Exactly because of the that, large organizations have been investing in digital transformation, where technology, products and services are the consequence of a change in mindset, the breaking of a paradigm and structure secular. Not a single copy of "how things work in here".

As new communication networks are formed, communication is established in a fluid and self-organized way as needed.

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