Chapter 7. People, Process, and Organizational Structure

“Why are we so slow?!”

—Anonymous board member at a financial services organization

Conway’s law rules,1 period. How you organize your people will have a direct impact on how your value chains are constructed, and how they can work and be worked upon. Get it right, and your people will be the valuable differentiator you need to deliver your digitalization ROI. Get it wrong, and you could end up with less than you started with.

You could come up with the most valuable chains and supporting architecture, but if you don’t organize your people in ways that help them work effectively with your architecture, then, as in a body with a strong immune system, your architectural digitalization changes will be rejected or worked around. As Ruth Malan is quoted as saying, “If the architecture of the system and the architecture of your organization are at odds, the architecture of your organization wins.”2

The stakes could not, once again, be higher. On the one side is glorious ROI, on the other yet another painful conversation with your institution’s board about “Why are we so slow NOW?!” Your hierarchical organization chart will be little help here. In fact, its archaic thinking may well be what caused the difficulties you now experience. New thinking is required to make it possible for your people to do their best work, to deliver your target digitalization ROI, supported by your architectural experiments and decisions.

The Hidden ...

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