Conway's mob

Einar Høst

Lightning talk - in English

Conway's Law is the observation that organizational structures tend to be replicated in systems. This creates a strong bi-directional bond between organization structure and system structure that inhibits changes to either. This can make cross-structural efforts difficult: they face potentially formidable inertia, having to overcome reinforced, overlapping, dual-natured boundaries - both social and technological. What organizational juggernaut can hope to succeed against such resistance? At NRK TV, we have started using mobs for this. The software development mobs we unleash are activity-driven, autonomous entities that absorb the social agents (people!) they need to successfully cross boundaries. What do the mobs leave in their wake? Our experiences so far suggest mostly an incredibly varied collection of solutions to difficult problems in a surprisingly short span of time.