The End of Order

Everyone loves order. Order gives structure, predictability, safety and comfort. Our brains are wired to seek order, either by shaping the world around us to maximize it or by avoiding situations where we might lose it. There is nothing more comfortable than sitting smack in the middle of our comfort zone. For the entire history … Read more

The End of Requirements

The time has come to eradicate requirements as a mechanism for communicating between different groups inside and between organizations. Although requirements have been used as the key mechanism to describe the functionality desired from the system since the beginning of software engineering as a field, over recent years the limitations have become increasingly clear to … Read more

Effective R&D in Complex Systems

Several of the companies that I work with build very complex systems that are hard to break down into largely independent parts. Instead the components in these architectures are internally complex and have elaborate dependencies between them. Although this is an architectural challenge, it also leads to an organizational challenge. Traditional R&D organizations have a … Read more

Leading in the Digital Age

During the week before Easter, I decided to take some time off work and escape into the Swedish wilderness (Hallandåsen in northern Skåne, for those who care about the local geography). Although I regularly read books of various kinds, this week I read several books about self-managed or empowered organizations (including the books at the … Read more

On the Role of Software Architecture

This week was all about software architecture as we hosted the international conference on software architecture in Gothenburg (ICSA 2017). At the same time, I hosted a company get-together between, among others, Booking, Spotify and Klarna. During the get-together, the role of architecture also came up a number of times. I realized that the research … Read more

Welcome to the Digital You!

Digitalization is the most impactful development in society. Everything in our lives these days is driven by software. Ranging from software enabled toothbrush ecosystems to self-driving cars and from quantified self movements to factory 4.0 initiatives, it’s clear that we’re in the early days of the 4th industrial revolution. In the words of Marc Andreessen, … Read more

Why R&D Sets Business Strategy

After running my consulting business over the last years, I’ve started to see a pattern in the engagements with large companies. The engagement often starts with senior R&D management, one or more lead architects and perhaps a couple of experienced engineers. The focus is some major transformation, platform effort or other topic that starts off … Read more

Why I stepped down as general chair for ICSA 2017

This week I stepped down as general chair for the 2017 International Conference on Software Architecture. It was a very difficult decision and not one frequently made by a general chair. So, what happened? It all started an honest misunderstanding on my part. When I was asked to act as general chair as the proposal … Read more

Leading through Disruption (or not)

One of the ongoing questions in my mind is why large companies have such a difficult time managing disruptions and, as a consequence, why the average tenure of companies on the Fortune 500 has now decreased to 10-12 years. My thinking around this question got triggered recently, when I received an email in response to … Read more