Organisational architecture for a digital world

  • Teams
  • Organisation
  • Lean

Rapid digitisation of business processes is changing the basis of competition in industries around the world, setting the stage for the emergence of a new generation of successful companies. Digitisation brings a unique challenge: how do companies create an organisation that generates the most attractive and effective digital products? To put it another way, how might companies organize to ensure excellent software engineering?

Studying companies known for great software engineering, we have learned a few things:

  1. Excellent software engineering results when good software engineers are challenged with interesting and important problems.
  2. Both the system architecture and the organisational architecture are important in providing proper sized teams that can solve problems autonomously and asynchronously.
  3. Forming good, properly configured teams and synchronising efforts across teams is the management challenge that must be met for excellent complex systems to be devised and supported.

Mary Poppendieck will discuss what this might mean for your company, in your industry, over the next few years.

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Mary Poppendieck


Mary Poppendieck started her career as a process control programmer. She moved on to manage the IT-department of a manufacturing plant and then ended up in the product development, where she was both a product champion and a department manager.

Mary considered retirement 1998, but instead found herself managing a government software project where she first encountered the word "waterfall." When Mary compared her experience in successful software and product development to the prevailing opinions about how to manage software projects, she decided the time had come for a new paradigm. She wrote the award-winning book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit in 2003 to explain how the lean principles from manufacturing offer a better approach to software development.

Over the past several years, Mary has found retirement elusive as she lectures and teaches classes with her husband Tom. Based on their on-going learning, they wrote a second book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash in 2006, a third, Leading Lean Software Development: Results are Not the Point in 2009, and a fourth book, The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions in 2013. A popular writer and speaker, Mary continues to bring fresh perspectives to the world of software development.

  10:00 - 10:45
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