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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

  2. a quick story…

  3. @bencallahan (on Twitter) https:/ /bit.ly/connect-with-ben Connect with me

  4. Basic Underlying Assumptions Espoused Beliefs Artifacts Organizational Culture is made

    up of three layers
  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/
  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
  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
  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”
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  17. Can the design system subculture change the 
 culture of

    the organization?
  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/
  19. Your design system won’t make your products more consistent.

  20. People will make 
 what they want to make.

  21. People will make 
 what they want to make.

  22. People will make 
 what they want to make. Your

    job is to change
  23. @bencallahan (on Twitter) https:/ /bit.ly/connect-with-ben Thank you