Governing Data with Conway’s Law
We exist in a world of systems within systems. We are organisms containing organs, living in an ecosystem within a solar system. We come from a family, which is the archetypal system, and we put much of our capital and energy into building systems. Yet, often these systems produce results that we don’t intend, don't expect, or outright don’t want.These unexpected outcomes arise for many reasons, and some may be outside of our influence, but with a deeper understanding of how systems work we can yield the great power that systems produce toward our goals.
"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."
Onto Ontological Design
Governance Equals Freedom
Working with Conway’s law calls for a commitment to removing information barriers and risks that inhibit an organization’s ability to effectively achieve its purpose. This can be achieved through a strong data governance program which, when executed on a day-to-day basis, will reduce operational friction, align team’s approaches with overall objectives, and ensure transparency and knowledge-sharing across the organization.
If we neglect to address how data enters the organization, who is accountable for it, and how it is managed we end up with policies, processes, and communication channels that evolve into a chaotic and ineffective system.
Being disciplined and committing to data governance practices, we will empower our teams to make decisions through clear ownership and with the vision of the company in mind.
Interactive teams who execute tactically, but yet whose work and efforts are prioritized under a strategic framework, are operating with the key ingredients of a learning and adaptive organization. Technology is clearly important, but we must begin by understanding the people that make up our systems if we plan to flourish in this rapidly changing industry.
If you have questions about what a strong data governance program can do for you and your organization, just reach out and we’d be happy to help you find a solution that aligns with your business objectives.