In short, Conway’s Law says any organisation that designs a system will come up with a system design that copies the organisational communication structures.
Over the years, many many people paraphrased Conway’s Law in many different ways.
Every paraphrase brings new insights and non-negligible consequences. Sometimes giving the impression they contradict each other. However, in the end, they all come to the same conclusion. The organisation and the system keep each other in balance.
To be competitive, we’d better understand and take advantage of this.
- The Article: Shades of Conway’s Law
- How Do Committees Invent?, Melvin Conway, 1968
- Structured Design, Edward Yourdon and Larry L. Constantine, 1979
- The New Hacker’s Dictionary (3rd ed.), Eric Raymond, 1996
- Organisational patterns of agile software development, James Coplien & Neil Harrison, 2004
- Return to Conway’s Law, Allan Kelly, 2006
- Release It!, Michael Nygard, 2007
- Conway’s Law, Ruth Malan, 2008
- Continuous Delivery and Conway’s Law, Allan Kelly, 2014
- Toward Simplifying Application Development in a Dozen Lessons, Mel Conway, 2016
- The Mirroring Hypothesis: theory, evidence, and exceptions, Colfer and Baldwin, 2016
- Accelerate, Nicole Forsgren, PhD and friends, 2018
- Conway’s Law Doesn’t Apply to Rigid Designs, Mathias Verraes, 2022