Micro Services – Dealing With The Turf Wars

This past year we have witnessed how many companies have successfully integrated Micro Services into their architecture. In fact, 2015 has been touted as the year for Micro Services. It is all very fine for certain visionaries in an organization to push for Micro Services adoption from a strategic point of view but it is often found to be difficult to get people on board. Now, if it is indeed that great of an idea then why is it so difficult to convince teams to adopt them?

The answer is very simple – Turf!

Mostly the data in organizations exists in silos and is utilized as such. The problem that Micro Services present to such a way of functioning is that they represent a different way of doing things where managers often have to loosen their hold on their data. Thus, turf wars come into play.

There are some measures that can be taken to make a smooth transition in such a case:

  • Start by creating Micro Services for new application features to begin with. As development progresses work on refining and making changes where they need to be made.
  • To begin with keep the teams working on Micro Services separate from the team working on the monolithic architecture.
  • Provide the time and support to various teams to explore how Micro Services work and incorporate them into their work process.
  • As the Micro Services structure progresses encourage the teams to intermingle, have exchanges and facilitate cross training of skill sets.
  • As the skill differences become smaller and the comfort level of various teams increases start the breakdown of silos – both in terms of teams and data utilization.
  • As the Micro Services architecture expands start sliding slowly from the monolith to micro services.
  • Create standardized templates for development to make the creation of Micro Services easier.
  • As the architecture and the culture it brings get accepted across the organization start pruning the older Micro Services and replacing them with finer, more current ones.

While, it may be difficult to get everyone in an organization on board with Micro Services it is well worth a try as it can not only create better, more scalable software it can also help build better team dynamics.

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Written By: Meghna Verma

Swarm Intelligence and Organizational Structure

Ants or bees are not exactly the most intelligent creatures in the world, individually speaking. Yet, get a million of them together and they manage to migrate, build gravity defying architectures and create very complex social systems. How do they do it? They combine their intelligences to form one big collective intelligence. Scientists call this collective intelligence Swarm Intelligence.

Swarm intelligence can achieve feats far beyond the capability of an individual. Most of the animal kingdom is ruled by this intelligence, in small or big groups. How swarm intelligence works for so many varied species is that it is based on the following 3 principles:

Flexibility – The ability of the group to change course or get creative when faced with an obstacle.

Robustness – Even if one individual cannot perform, the group can.

Self-Organization – No clear hierarchical leadership resulting in central control or supervision.

In fact, it is very rare to find a natural top down structure in nature where there is central control. For example, if the human body were organized according to a top-down structure, all the cells in the body would need to consult with the brain before acting. We would be literally incapable of moving and thinking at the same time.

Now, this holds true for companies that need to manage flows of information and be creative and innovative as well. Yet, humans love top down rigid structures, especially in business organizations.

Traditionally hierarchical organizations are structurally incapable of adapting to change and are incapable of taking new information onboard. Information has to reach the top of the pyramid before coming back down. It is a waste of time and a loss of efficiency that affects the company's creative potential and profits.

Successful companies have understood this. Highly innovative companies such as Google, Microsoft and Dreamworks have a dynamic, shifting network organizational structure. Teams are constantly forming and dissolving.

This kind of a structure is not flat. It is ever changing. It is cross-functional. This kind of structure, as we have discovered at Captain Dash, works very well when you are working with Micro Services. Instead of teams we have hubs. These hubs grow and move to make space for talent. New hubs can be created without damaging existing hubs.

The most successful managers will enlarge their hubs. Individuals know that such a system enables them to flourish. Their career will be determined by their talent, not their political ability to climb a pyramid-shaped structure.

This system is effective because it is natural.

There is no obstruction to the flow of information and chains of command are short.

Managers behave more like entrepreneurs than soldiers.

The key to success is the flexibility of decentralized networks.

Written By: Bruno Walther

 

How Micro Services Change Organizational Structure

A breakdown of silos in functionality automatically results in easy communication across the team, higher collaboration, cutting down the budget approval trains and making it possible to take spot decisions thus making these teams more result oriented.

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