Alignment & Resilient Technology Organisations

Alignment & Resilient Technology Organisations

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Resilient technology organisations are characterized by aligned core tenants. For me, the following core tenants are key and must be aligned to maintain a resilient technology organisation.

Only resilient technology organisations are able to react on ever changing market needs.

Strategy

Strategy

A strategy links mission and vision. By definition then the strategy requires the existence of a vision and mission. The stronger the vision and mission of a technology organisation is, the stronger the strategy. Not only a vision and mission must exist, senior management must also enbody

  • mission
  • vision
  • strategy

Strategy arises informally at any level in an organisation. A strategy shall be emergent or logical incremented:

“strategies do not come into existence based on a one time decision but rather, it exists through making small decisions that is evaluated periodically. These small decisions are not made randomly but logically through experimentation and learning.”

In my experience mission and vision are often repeatedly understood in different ways at different levels of organizations. This results in drift – parts of organisations move in different directions. If, however, vision, mission, and first strategy are understood and supported by the entire organization, experimentation and learning in different parts of the organization will result in similar strategies.

Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart

An organizational chart shows the structure of an organization and the relationships of positions, jobs and ranks.

Senior Management must not only live up to mission, vision and strategy but also make sure there is an aligned organizational chart.

The better an organizational chart is prepared and cultivated the more buy-in exists.

Once communicated – in the whole organization or parts of it – the organizational chart must remain stable for the time being. All management must treat this as sacrosanct.

Technology Stack

Technology Stack

An aligned technology stack is key to making new tech initiatives like evaluating new cluster management approaches or finding alternatives to REST web services possible. For me, the tech stack does not only define the tech stack itself, it also defines the horizon in which the engineers work and consequently how engineers can challenge and possibly change the status quo in a productive manner to keep it up to date.

Changes to the technology stack are not only about changing technical aspects. Changes to the technology stack are first and foremost about lobbying and seeking constructive feedback. Feedback – constructive or positive – shall be made persistent e.g. using narrative comments, architecture decision records or technical working groups. Countless times I enjoyed reading narratives and papers describing the why of past technology stack decisions.

Conclusion

Alignment & Resilient Technology Organisations
Alignment & Resilient Technology Organisations

For me, resilient technology organizations maintain an aligned strategy, organizational chart and technology stack as a continuous endeavor involving the whole technology organisation. Continuous alignment is hard, as with a lot of hard things: if it hurts, do it more frequently.

I write this above all as a reminder to myself.

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