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Design System Culture

Ben Callahan
September 09, 2022

Design System Culture

Organizations have an overarching culture and many subcultures. This presentation examines the impacts an organization's culture has on the subculture of a systematic design program.

Ben Callahan

September 09, 2022
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  1. Ben Callahan
    Design System


    Culture
    @bencallahan

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  2. a quick story…

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  3. @bencallahan (on Twitter)


    https:/
    /bit.ly/connect-with-ben
    Connect with me

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  4. Basic Underlying Assumptions
    Espoused Beliefs
    Artifacts
    Organizational Culture is


    made up of three layers

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  5. Basic Underlying Assumptions
    Espoused Beliefs
    Artifacts
    Organizational Culture is


    made up of three layers
    What you see
    What people say
    What people believe
    Experience
    http://www.scheinocli.org/

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  6. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf
    Flexible
    External
    Internal

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  7. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  8. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf
    “People
    fi
    rst” “Disrupt everything”
    “Beat the competition”
    “Avoid risk”

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  9. Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    “I believe the scope of my work cannot be
    accomplished in any way other than to partner
    with teams who have caught the vision”
    “My subscribers haven’t created consistency, so
    I’m here to make sure they do going forward”
    Design system subcultures are most often
    Collaborative or Controlling

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  10. Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Prioritization primarily based on subscriber needs


    Adoption primarily driven by relationship


    Intentionally
    fl
    exible (extension of the system is encouraged)


    The system adapts to the needs of the subscribers
    Prioritization primarily based on organization needs


    Adoption primarily driven by incentive


    Necessarily restrictive (“use what we have” is the general attitude)


    Subscribers adapt to the approach of the system
    Healthy Characteristics

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  11. Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Tries to serve everyone perfectly, serving nobody well


    Overwhelmed with input, resulting in slow execution


    Extension is abused


    Hand-holding through onboarding
    Without input from subscribers, serves nobody well


    Disregard for input, resulting in need to rework


    Extension is prohibited


    No support for onboarding
    Unhealthy Characteristics

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  12. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  13. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  14. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  15. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  16. There are four primary types of Organizational
    Culture in the competing values framework
    Focused
    Flexible
    External
    Internal
    Collaborate

    Clan Culture

    “Do things together”
    Control

    Hierarchy Culture

    “Do things right”
    Compete

    Market Culture

    “Do things fast”
    Create

    Adhocracy Culture

    “Do things
    fi
    rst”
    https://www.thercfgroup.com/
    fi
    les/resources/an_introduction_to_the_competing_values_framework.pdf

    View full-size slide

  17. Can the design system
    subculture change the

    culture of the organization?

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  18. Basic Underlying Assumptions
    Espoused Beliefs
    Artifacts
    Organizational Culture is


    made up of three layers
    What you see
    What people say
    What people believe
    Experience
    Create
    http://www.scheinocli.org/

    View full-size slide

  19. Your design system won’t
    make your products more
    consistent.

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  20. People will make

    what they want to make.

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  21. People will make

    what they want to make.

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  22. People will make

    what they want to make.
    Your job is to change

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  23. @bencallahan (on Twitter)


    https:/
    /bit.ly/connect-with-ben
    Thank you

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