Conway’s law: architecture is useless

The title is a bit of an exaggeration of course, or is it? Remember Conway’s law? It states that
organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations


Remember this next time you think to yourself: “who concocted this overly complex, twisted, lasagna-like dumbo architecture?”. Because it is a reflection of the organization you’re part of 🙂

On a more serious note, coming up with an architecture (see also what is architecture?) becomes relatively easy: you mimic the organization if you want to be able to implement it.

This is typically not what architects do, however. They come up with -what they feel is- a good match to the problem. But this law commands they will often have to rework this ‘good match to the problem’ to become a ‘good match to the organization’s communication structures’.

Of course, we can always hope that Conway was wrong, unfortunately…