Chapter 8. Patterns for Organization and Culture

Traditional organizations are structured to protect and reinforce the existing order: static strategy, top-down decision making, and little freedom for teams to deviate from the dictated path. This is in no way a bad thing! It is in fact an efficient structure for executing on a well-honed plan in a predictable and stable environment, but top-down flow takes a long time. This is fine if everything else is slow too, and releases happen only once every year or so.

Attempting to deliver on a new cloud native system by following the old ways is, however, a disaster in the making: things will break down very quickly because a hierarchical organizational structure simply can’t keep up with a cloud native delivery approach.

To succeed as a cloud native entity an organization must embrace freedom of choice, delegation, and individual independence and responsibility. Not because this is an inherently superior way to do things, but because it is the better way to support a dynamic strategy. The main power of cloud native is the ability to adjust whatever you are doing (or the way you are doing it) to adapt in response to market or other environmental changes. If change happens every few months—which it will—but requires coordinating a massive rollout through many layers of bureaucracy each time, this basically derails any strategic shift. By the time you finally get it out there the market (and, likely, some of your customers) will have moved ...

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