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Waves of Centralising and Decentralising

Waves of Centralising and Decentralising

Presentation given at the Study of Enterprise Agility conference about the moves to centralise and decentralise both teams and technologies. Part literature review, part amateur economics and lots of devops ideals.


Gareth Rushgrove

April 10, 2017

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  1. (without introducing more risk) Centralising and Decentralising Puppet Gareth Rushgrove

    Waves of change in technology and teams
  2. (without introducing more risk) @garethr

  3. (without introducing more risk) Gareth Rushgrove

  4. (without introducing more risk) What we’ll cover This talk

  5. - Modern software architecture - Modern software organisations - Reasons

    for the current zeitgeist - Science and literature Gareth Rushgrove
  6. Centralise /ˈsɛntrəlʌɪz/ concentrate (control of an activity or organisation) under

    a single authority. Gareth Rushgrove
  7. Decentralise /di:ˈsɛntrəlʌɪz/ to distribute the administrative powers or functions of

    (a central authority) over a less concentrated area Gareth Rushgrove
  8. Gareth Rushgrove Talking of centralisation goes back a way

  9. Gareth Rushgrove Talking of decentralisation is more recent

  10. (without introducing more risk) The technology story Modern Software Architecture

  11. Gareth Rushgrove From Mainframe to Microservices

  12. From app servers to embedded servers Gareth Rushgrove

  13. Gareth Rushgrove From WORA to polyglot programming

  14. Gareth Rushgrove From ESB’s to adhoc HTTP services

  15. Gareth Rushgrove From SOAP to REST

  16. Gareth Rushgrove From data warehouse to data lake

  17. Gareth Rushgrove From SQL and schemas to NoSQL

  18. Gareth Rushgrove From rules engines to machine learning

  19. The current direction of travel is to more decentralised systems

    Gareth Rushgrove
  20. Pushing responsibility from singular technologies to individual components Gareth Rushgrove

  21. And from upfront decisions to determinations made closer to the

    data or users Gareth Rushgrove
  22. Gareth Rushgrove

  23. Most of these technology changes have been driven bottom up,

    by virtue of adoption by individual software developers Gareth Rushgrove
  24. (without introducing more risk) The organisation story Modern Software Teams

  25. From outsourcing to insourcing Gareth Rushgrove

  26. From waterfall to agile Gareth Rushgrove

  27. Gareth Rushgrove “Expecting one of the usual greetings like "pleased

    to meet you," I was surprised that the first thing he said was "I think that architects are obsolete Joseph Hofstader, Microsoft Software Architect, Architecture Journal 2008 From ivory towers to no architects
  28. Gareth Rushgrove You build it, you run it Werner Vogels,

    Amazon CTO From operations to devops “
  29. From specialists to generalists Gareth Rushgrove

  30. Gareth Rushgrove From specialists to generalists full stack engineers

  31. Spotify Squads, Tribes and Guilds Gareth Rushgrove

  32. Again, the current direction of travel appears to be to

    more decentralised teams Gareth Rushgrove
  33. (without introducing more risk) Context for the current direction Why

    Decentralise Anyway?
  34. Gareth Rushgrove State of DevOps Report

  35. (without introducing more risk) 30x Gareth Rushgrove More frequent deployments

    Faster lead times than their peers 200x 2015 State of DevOps Report
  36. (without introducing more risk) 60x Gareth Rushgrove Change success rate

    Faster mean time to recover 168x 2015 State of DevOps Report
  37. None
  38. (without introducing more risk) It’s not all about decentralising Counter

  39. Gareth Rushgrove “Platforms”

  40. - Orchestration - Logging - Configuration - Self-healing - Storage

    Gareth Rushgrove - Load balancing - Service discovery - Scaling - Batch workloads - Lots more
  41. Is Agile in practice really a centralising or decentralising force?

    Gareth Rushgrove
  42. Gareth Rushgrove

  43. Gareth Rushgrove Scaled Agile Framework

  44. Gareth Rushgrove “I consider the need for some level of

    centralised control the main reason for using SAFe Thomas Karlsson http://agile-management.com/wordpress/when-to-use-safe-scaled-agile-framework/
  45. Gareth Rushgrove

  46. (without introducing more risk) Gareth Rushgrove Dev SRE Ops From

    http://web.devopstopologies.com/ by Matthew Skelton
  47. Gareth Rushgrove Monorepos

  48. Gareth Rushgrove

  49. (without introducing more risk) A current example of the zeitgeist

    Containers as a Microcosm
  50. Gareth Rushgrove Is Docker centralising or decentralising?

  51. Decentralising the act of packaging software Gareth Rushgrove

  52. Centralising the unit of running software Gareth Rushgrove

  53. Facilitating the decentralisation of software development teams Gareth Rushgrove

  54. By centralising the platform on which all software runs Gareth

  55. (without introducing more risk) Some of the underpinning theory From

    Taylorism to Sociotechnical Systems
  56. Gareth Rushgrove

  57. A production efficiency methodology that breaks every action, job, or

    task into small and simple segments which can be easily analysed Gareth Rushgrove
  58. Gareth Rushgrove - Separates execution of work from work planning

    - Separates direct labor from indirect labor - Replaces rule of thumb productivity estimates with precise measurements - Introduces time and motion study for optimum job performance and cost accounting
  59. Sidebar Who thinks I just described Agile? Gareth Rushgrove

  60. Gareth Rushgrove - Aims to achieve maximum job fragmentation to

    minimise skill requirements and job learning time - Makes possible payment-by-result method of wage determination
  61. Sidebar Who thinks I just described the gig economy? Gareth

  62. Taylorism has been widely discredited, but influences a great deal

    of management theory and practice Gareth Rushgrove
  63. Gareth Rushgrove

  64. Scientific Management is a system that is excellent for achieving

    highly efficient execution of known, repeatable processes at scale Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World “
  65. Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for

    a Complex World “Efficiency is no longer enough
  66. Complexity produces a fundamentally different situation from the complicated challenges

    of the past Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World “
  67. Complexity means that, in spite of our increased abilities to

    track and measure, the world has become, in many ways, vastly less predictable Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World “
  68. Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for

    a Complex World “ Developing resilience, learning how to reconfigure to confront the unknown, is a much more effective way to respond to a complex environment
  69. Gareth Rushgrove

  70. (without introducing more risk) The field of Sociotechnical Systems suggests

    that all human systems include both a technical system and a social system Gareth Rushgrove https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coevolution#Technological_coevolution
  71. (without introducing more risk) Better outcomes are usually obtained by

    a reciprocal process of joint optimization, through which both the technical system and the social system change Gareth Rushgrove https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coevolution#Technological_coevolution
  72. (without introducing more risk) Gareth Rushgrove Conway’s Law as a

    classic example Organisations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organisations
  73. Gareth Rushgrove

  74. (without introducing more risk) If all you remember is Conclusions

  75. Do we build distributed systems because we seek decentralised teams?

    Gareth Rushgrove
  76. Or do we desire decentralised teams so we build distributed

    systems? Gareth Rushgrove
  77. You’re probably centralising and decentralising different things at the same

    time Gareth Rushgrove
  78. Beware local optima Gareth Rushgrove

  79. To be an agile enterprise you need to be conscious

    and transparent about where you are centralising and decentralising Gareth Rushgrove
  80. - Team of Teams General Stanley McChrystal - The New

    Kingmakers Stephen O’Grady - Designing Delivery Jeff Sussna - Antifragile Nassim Nicholas Taleb Gareth Rushgrove
  81. Gareth Rushgrove Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for

    a Complex World “Surprisingly, that change was less about new technology than it was about culture – in other words, our approach to management
  82. (without introducing more risk) Questions? And thanks for listening