APIs are important part of (network) organization

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As network organization is evolutionary and must be constantly adjusted to actual value being delivered you must have evolutionary architecture. Both approaches are aimed to decompose “Big Ball of Mud …”

Even though i think it is essential for network organisation company structured in any way will benefit from this type of product architecture.

You can read more about that in this great article – https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/microservices-evolutionary-architecture

Microservices meet this definition because of its strong bounded context principle, making the logical division described in Evan’s Domain Driven Design a physical separation. Microservices achieve this separation via advanced DevOps practices like machine provisioning, testing, and automated deployments. Because each service is decoupled from all other services (at the structural level), replacing one microservice with another resembles swapping one Lego brick for another.

Network organization in a nutshell

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  1. Build multi-functional team.
  2. Pick up the problem/challenge/value.
  3. Define whom it’s important for.
  4. Define dependencies.
  5. Define success/failure criteria.
  6. Slice it.
  7. Prepare.
  8. Make.
  9. Give it to the world.
  10. Retrieve & analyze feedback.
  11. Keep #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 – cycle short.

Depends (not important)

  • Process you use – less is more. underestimated cost of spreading heavyweight process accross users.
  • Tools you use – bottom up standardization normally works much better. but would be interesting to make an investigation how/if tools standardization really helps.
  • Planning – as lots of work is invested into making a plan, people try to a void changing it to match the reality.
  • Various definition and templates – often do not match real work even before being issued.
  • Roles descriptions – typically defined for people below high level management.

p.s. Tayloristic organisation defines “not important” as highly important

Planning method – Syntegration

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Very interesting work about new tool which claims to produce best possible results when working with a large group. As author states – “Highly pragmatic and innovative tool for knowledge sharing, consensus building and conflict resolution whenever a large number of people is involved: in business, in politics and in every societal body, panel or committee.” Link to original – http://www.jucs.org/jukm_0_1/stafford_beers_syntegration_as/nittbaurb.pdf

Syntegration – idea looks good although it is not crystal clear for me how exactly everything is happening when according roles people must be in several places.

Quotes from article

… control in a system can only be obtained if the variety of the controller is at least as great as the variety of the system to be controlled

Organizations of any kind face an extremely high internal and external complexity which they need to manage in order to survive in their specific competitive environment.

… by integrating the knowledge and experience of these specialists in a way that they can network into one large biological brain, the necessary variety is being assembled that is required in order to manage complex organizations in their complex environments.

…Each participant is being assigned Member in two Topic Teams, Critic in two other Topic Teams and Observer in up to four more Topic Teams.

… reverberation ensures that every thought, every new idea, is being transferred automatically to all other Topic Teams via the short term memory of the participants

… by integrating the knowledge and experience of these specialists in a way that they can network into one large biological brain, the necessary variety is being assembled that is required in order to manage complex organizations in their complex environments.

… the participants must be selected very carefully: Whom do we need for knowledge generation (the experts) and whom do we need for the implementation of the actions proposed (the “drivers”).

Work Abstract

Over some forty years, Stafford Beer (1926 – 2002) has published a steady stream of seminal books and papers in which he has applied cybernetic science to organizational problems. In all of these he has explained underlying principles and developed new theories and recorded a great variety of practical applications. In his last book, published in 1994 [Beer, 1994b] he presents a cybernetic approach to knowledge management within large groups of about 30 people, called Syntegration®. Syntegration is a structured, non-hierarchical process for highly effective and efficient dialogue that leads to much faster, much more informed outcomes and aligns people behind the resulting decisions, messages and action plans with a high chance for implementation. Since its invention this powerful method has been very successfully applied more then 200 times in the organization of normative, directional, and strategic planning, and other creative decision processes. The underlying model is a regular icosahedron. This has 30 struts, each of which represents a person. Each of the 12 edges represents a topic that is being discussed. An internal network of interactions is created by a set of iterative protocols. A group organized like this is an ultimate statement of participatory democracy, since each role is indistinguishable from any other. There is no hierarchy, no top, no bottom, no sideways. Beer illustrates how continued dynamic interaction between persons causes ideas and resolutions to hum around the sphere, which reverberates into a kind of group consciousness. Mathematical analysis of the structure shows how the process is determined by the even spread of synergy. The aim of this article is to present to managers and their advisors a new planning method that captures the native genius of the organization in a non-political and non-hierarchical way. That produces the best possible results in the shortest possible time from the largest possible number of people, by making optimized use of the knowledge these people have. Knowledge management at its best.

Constraints On Effective Product Development

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Organising yourself as a network of multi-dependent teams helps to solve following constraints and increase effectiveness of product development

Functional Teams

People from different functional areas must be a part of the same team to eliminate all possible “cross departments” activities

Toyota have long eliminated this constraint through their Obeya concept, and unique matrix structure.

Capacity of Bottlenecks

Often certain teams in the company can become a bottleneck as lots of others start to depend on them. Providing options for teams in different stages of development gives needed flexibility and possibility to act according the situation.

Delayed Decision Making 

Building structure around function silos and skills forces you to increase additional layers of coordination or start more projects which automatically leads to more communication points and less efficiency. additionally temporary nature of projects breaks ownership mindset. Organising around value forces you to:

  • think long term as there is no end, but continuous value delivery
  • focus on relevant problems, especially if options are given to others and they can abandon your service
  • build in ownership and quality as things will not be passed to someone else


What other constraints you face? Do you find these common?


  • http://www.organizeforcomplexity.com
  • https://medium.com/@flowchainsensei/constraints-on-effective-product-development-3b2684f5d1e2#.puz0ysspx
  • http://agilemindstorm.com/2016/03/16/network-structure-it-works/