Automate the Socio-Technical Map of Your Organization

Does your system have more than 150 people, code paths, services, and documents?

Beth Fuller
Beth Fuller
May 23, 2023
Context in Action
Automate the Socio-Technical Map of Your Organization

How much is too much for anyone to track? According to Dunbar’s number, we can only keep 150 connections/nodes/things in our heads at once. Does your system have more than 150 people, code paths, services, and documents? If so, you probably need our product. Right now you’re just used to the chaos so it may not feel like a “have-to-have”.

When talking to folks about the pain points we are solving at OpenContext, we keep hearing, “That sounds amazing but my team/I don’t have extra bandwidth to maintain this.” And people think that’s it -- end of discussion. 

This makes me ridiculously sad. Why? Because I KNOW everyone is busy. I know you have that spreadsheet, internal project, and side project to solve the Who Owns What. I KNOW IT!! 

I also know that no one’s got time to maintain those projects, which is why we went down the path of auto-discovery. We can get you up and running with automated updates in a few hours – and half of that time is on our end, not yours. 

The next challenge after you auto-discover the data is to sort it out. You will find some hidden gems in there, guaranteed. But that’s what makes it cool. Without OpenContext, mapping your system and documenting who owns specific aspects of your technical stack is based on your memory. You likely have a team who will take days to map out how the system works in order to capture it in Figma, Miro, Whimsical, or even on a scratch pad, just to solve something in the moment. 

How does Conway’s Law impact your Adaptive Capacity?

This brings us to Conway’s law. Conway’s Law states that “Organizations, who design systems, are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”  When I think about this I really want to find a way to make our communication across teams more efficient, more connected, to find the glue that binds us together in a way that we have fewer weaknesses. OpenContext will show you how Conway’s Law is playing out and allow you to improve your communication and harden your system in all its wonderful complexity to be more adaptive. 

Yep, we help you grow your adaptive capacity. For more on that, go check out Kelly Shortridge’s talk from SREcon 2023. It’s AMAZING. While you are at it, I would also watch Amy Tobey’s talk. Both of these talks showcase the problem we are solving for. So while we find PagerDuty and other incident response tools to be a Have to Have, I hope we can also look at tools that address the socio-technical, and help grow your adaptive capacity as have-to-haves as well. 

Choose Your Own User Journey

All of that is to say, we have a User Journey to help you see what life could be like using a tool like ours. 

Take a look at our User Journey, solve some of the problems around who owns what, and consider, do you really want to keep that spreadsheet up to date? Do you really want to take a team of folks away from their current projects in order to diagram out the system in Figma/Miro/Whimsical? Maybe you do, but we think you’re ready to see what it could look like in a world where your people and tech stack are auto-discovered and automatically updated.

All of this is to say: I know that many users need to understand that OpenContext isn't something you need to manually update each sprint! You won't need to take months or years to spin it up, and you don't need a whole team dedicated to it, either! We've created our very own User Journey to show this to you. I’m excited to hear where your own journey takes you from here.

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