Collaborating teams build systems that collaborate

Information systems of a company are a reflection of the communication patterns within the organization. The more teams communicate with one other cohesively, these systems will connect and grow together more as a result. In today’s world of digital transformation and data intelligence, it is imperative that multi function organizations communicate and collaborate, so systems built by the development staff will bring the necessary business intelligence and scale. This cohesive intelligence is critical to further growth. It is very common in multi function organizations for ‘Silos’ to develop over a period of time. These ‘Silos’ focus successfully on one aspect of the business, however they fail to connect with other systems in the workflow such that it reflects the customer journey. This ‘disconnect’ can create many black-boxes producing their own data, which as a whole brings minimal value in the long run.

It is very interesting that many popular methodologies and architectural patterns have evolved which fundamentally solve this problem of communication. Let’s take DevOps for example. DevOps is designed to have better collaboration between Development teams and Network operations. Although they are independent in function, lack of communication between them results in surprises, errors and continuous finger pointing. This can be very expensive operationally leading to client dissatisfaction. Today DevOps has had great success which leads to test, build and deployment automation. This in turn increases speed-to-market and system reliability.

In today’s world of digital transformation and data intelligence, it is imperative that multi function organizations communicate and collaborate, so systems built by the development staff will bring the necessary business intelligence and scale as well.

Agile development methodologies solve the collaboration problems between all disciplines of an organization. The SCRUM methodology with it’s different ‘ceremonies’ brings all relevant departments together in one room regularly. From Sprint Planning to Sprint Retrospective, different departments like products, development, QA, and user experience come together to discuss topics from requirements to ‘lessons learnt’. This collective, methodical way of communication leads to better product definition, risk mitigation, estimation and release planning. Everyone is in a continuous improvement and feedback loop, improving deliveries significantly.

collaboration

Let’s take Micro-services architecture, for example. This style of architecture was embraced by many companies in an effort to have small teams become autonomous by fostering a loosely coupled architecture connected via independent services. Again, at a high level team structures and their communication patterns dictate how the Enterprise architecture shapes. Netflix adopted the Micro-services architecture to increase speed-to-market which led to a social culture of small autonomous teams collaborating together.

Companies don’t just build products and offer services , they build professional communities and offer personal growth.

Any organization which looks to build information systems that work together, while they are independent units, has to build a communication culture and team structure which can facilitate such systems. Cohesive systems bring business intelligence while loose coupling allows them to scale. Cohesion comes from continuous collaboration and loose coupling comes from small autonomous teams. Adopt methodologies and architectural patterns which bring teams and people together. Companies don’t just build products and offer services , they build professional communities and offer personal growth.

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