Accelerate

Accelerate

The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

Forsgren PhD, Jez Humble, Gene Kim

Organizational culture can exist at three levels in organizations: basic assumptions, values, and artifacts (Schein 1985). At the first level, basic assumptions are formed over time as members of a group or organization make sense of relationships, events, and activities. These interpretations are the least “visible” of the levels—and are the things that we just “know,” and may find difficult to articulate, after we have been long enough in a team. The second level of organizational culture are values, which are more “visible” to group members as these collective values and norms can be discussed and even debated by those who are aware of them. Values provide a lens through which group members view and interpret the relationships, events, and activities around them. Values also influence group interactions and activities by establishing social norms, which shape the actions of group members and provide contextual rules (Bansal 2003). These are quite often the “culture” we think of when we talk about the culture of a team and an organization. The third level of organizational culture is the most visible and can be observed in artifacts. These artifacts can include written mission statements or creeds, technology, formal procedures, or even heroes and rituals (Pettigrew 1979).

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