Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow
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Teams are the fundamental building block of organizations, how those teams work and the system they operate in are the difference between average and high performance. I believe this book is a deep well of information for how you can optimize your organization's system for your current context. -- Jeremy Brown, Director, Red Hap Open Innovation Labs EMEA "The high performing team is the core generator of value in the modern digital economy. But cultivating and scaling an adaptive ecosystem of such teams is a too-often elusive goal. In this book, Skelton and Pais provide innovative tools and concepts for structuring the next generation digital operating model. Recommended for CIOs, enterprise architects, and digital product strategists worldwide." -- Charles Betz, Principal Analyst and Global DevOps Lead, Forrester Research The Team Topologies book by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais is unique. It is going to have a big influence across tech companies. We need a structured and methodical approach to shaping teams for continuous delivery instead of copying a few Spotify rituals. This is the book. -- Nick Tune, API Platform Lead, Navico Team Topologies informs and enriches our understanding of organizational architecture...it serves as a pragmatic guide whether forming teams and enabling them to meet their challenges or helping existing teams become more effective at responsive value delivery. -- Ruth Malan, Architecture Consultant at Bredemeyer Consulting Team Topologies provides fresh insights on how to anticipate and adapt to market and technology changes. To survive, enterprises need to unlearn existing command and control structures and instead move authority to leaders with the best information to take action and respond. This book will help executives and business leaders focus on the key strategies of high performance teams to effectively address the needs of today and the evolving landscape of tomorrow. -- Barry O'Reilly, Co-Founder Nobody Studios, author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise When your teams encounter friction and bottlenecks it can be tempting to throw more people, tooling, and process at the problem. Your solution likely lies in a new team topology. But what should that look like? Team Topologies provides a much-needed framework for evaluating and optimizing team organization for increased flow. Teams that have the right size, the right boundaries, and the right level of communication are poised to deliver value to the company and satisfaction to the team members. Team Topologies combines a methodical approach with real-world case studies to unlock the full potential of your tech teams. -- Greg Burrell, Senior Reliability Engineer at Netflix There is nothing more fundamental to management than how you structure your organization and what behaviors you encourage. Despite this, few have attempted to catalog and analyze the organizational design patterns of IT organizations going through Digital, DevOps, and SRE transformations. Skelton and Pais have not only accepted this bold challenge, but they've also hit the mark by creating an indispensable and unique resource. -- Damon Edwards, Co-Founder of Rundeck DevOps Topologies is an outstanding resource for all technical leaders pushing for modern approaches to effective partnerships between Development and Operations. It goes beyond high level explanations of DevOps offering that there are many flavors that a company may choose to adopt based on a few factors including maturity, size and product landscape. At Cond Nast International, this resource was crucial in understanding our current DevOps state and in defining the vision for our aspirational DevOps operating model. We were able to navigate around the pitfalls and organizational anti-patterns as excellently described in the models. The models themselves proved extremely useful artifacts in aligning both stakeholders and teams directly involved. Lastly
MATTHEW SKELTON has been building, deploying, and operating commercial software systems since 1998. Head of Consulting at Conflux, he specializes in Continuous Delivery, operability and organization design for software in manufacturing, ecommerce, and online services, including cloud, IoT, and embedded software. MANUEL PAIS is an organizational IT consultant and trainer focused on team interactions, delivery practices, and accelerating flow. Recognized by TechBeacon in 2019 as one of the top 100 people to follow in DevOps, he is also coauthor of the book Team Topologies. He helps organizations rethink their approach to software delivery, operations, and support via strategic assessments, practical workshops, and coaching.
Figures & Tables Case Studies & Industry Examples Foreword by Ruth Malan Preface PART I TEAMS AS THE MEANS OF DELIVERY Chapter 1: The Problem with Org Charts Communication Structures of an Organization Team Topologies: A New Way of Thinking about Teams The Revival of Conway's Law Cognitive Load and Bottlenecks Summary: Rethink Team Structures, Purpose, and Interactions Chapter 2: Conway's Law and Why It Matters Understanding and Using Conway's Law The Reverse Conway Maneuver Software Architectures that Encourage Team-Scoped Flow Organization Design Requires Technical Expertise Restrict Unnecessary Communication Beware: Naive Uses of Conway's Law Summary: Conway's Law Is Critical for Efficient Team Design in Tech Chapter 3: Team-First Thinking Use Small, Long-Lived Teams as the Standard Good Boundaries Minimize Cognitive Load Design Team APIs and Facilitate Team Interactions Warning: Engineering Practices Are Foundational Summary: Limit Teams' Cognitive Load and Facilitate Team Interactions to Go Faster PART II TEAM TOPOLOGIES THAT WORK FOR FLOW Chapter 4: Static Team Topologies Team Anti-Patterns Design for Flow of Change DevOps and the DevOps Topologies Successful Team Patterns Considerations When Choosing a Topology Use DevOps Topologies to Evolve the Organization Summary: Adopt and Evolve Team Topologies that Match Your Current Context Chapter 5: The Four Fundamental Team Topologies Stream-Aligned Teams Enabling Teams Complicated-Subsystem Teams Platform Teams Avoid Team Silos in the Flow of Change A Good Platform Is Just Big Enough Convert Common Team Types to the Fundamental Team Topologies Summary: Use Loosely Coupled, Modular Groups of Four Specific Team Types Chapter 6: Choose Team-First Boundaries A Team-First Approach to Software Responsibilities and Boundaries Hidden Monoliths and Coupling Software Boundaries or Fracture Planes Real-World Example: Manufacturing Summary: Choose Software Boundaries to Match Team Cognitive Load PART III EVOLVING TEAM INTERACTIONS FOR INNOVATION AND RAPID DELIVERY Chapter 7: Team Interaction Modes Well-Defined Interactions Are Key to Effective Teams The Three Essential Team Interaction Modes Team Behaviors for Each Interaction Mode Choosing Suitable Team Interaction Modes Choosing Basic Team Organization Choose Team Interaction Modes to Reduce Uncertainty and Enhance Flow Summary: Three Well-Defined Team Interaction Modes Chapter 8: Evolve Team Structures with Organizational Sensing How Much Collaboration Is Right for Each Team Interaction? Accelerate Learning and Adoption of New Practices Constant Evolution of Team Topologies Combining Teams Topologies for Greater Effectiveness Triggers for Evolution of Team Topologies Self Steer Design and Development Summary: Evolving Team Topologies Conclusion: The Next-Generation Digital Operating Model Four Team Types and Three Interaction Modes Team-First Thinking: Cognitive Load, Team API, Team-Sized Architecture Strategic Application of Conway's Law Evolve Organization Design for Adaptability and Sensing Team Topologies Alone Are Not Sufficient for IT Effectiveness Next Steps: How to Get Started with Team Topologies Glossary Recommended Reading References Notes Index Acknowledgments About the Authors