Sujith Jay Nair Thinking Aloud

Questions Articles

Subscribe for an infrequent newsletter.

    Converse Conway's Law

    Melvin Conway in his 1968 paper How Do Committees Invent? postulated the now-famous Conway’s Law.

    Organisations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organisations.

    This homomorphism between organisational communication structures and systems designed by them, has become an adage in software management. It implies a one-way effect, though. But, does it work in the other direction?

    Given a mature (say, software) system, can we infer organisational communication structures? Particularly, informal communication structures? 1 Do informal communication structures affect system design in the first place?

    1. Formal communication structures are defined by organisational reporting structures.