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Session + Live Q&A

Optimising for Fast Flow in Norway's Largest Bureaucracy

One of the key success factors for fast flow in modern software services is alignment: alignment between mission objectives and domain terminology, alignment between domain terminology and engineering teams, alignment between engineering teams and software architecture, and so on. 

NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration) is the largest public agency in Norway. Our mission is to assist people into work, and we provide a series of benefits related to pensions, disease, unemployment, and others. 

Five years ago, IT in NAV was all about projects run by consultants. Today, we have 300 internal developers in over 100 cross functional, autonomous teams that deliver and evolve 250 software-based products for our users. 

In this talk, we describe how we have succeeded to align our teams by using a mix of descriptive and normative techniques: Internal tech radar increases communication between teams, complemented by a weekly technical deep dive on a specific subject. 

As principal engineers we have articulated a set of both strategic and operational changes we propose to each team. Finally, selected best practices are implemented in our platforms. 

We also discuss the wider applicability of these techniques - could they be useful for creating alignment outside technology?

Main Takeaways

1 Large organizations need aligned autonomy to achieve fast flow

2 Creating alignment in the age of autonomy is hard work.

3 You need transparency, information flow, opinions, and platforms to achieve alignment


Audun Fauchald Strand

Principal Engineer @NAV

Audun is principal engineer at NAV.  Still trying to find the right balance between leading and coding. Aims for code that is simple and organisations that are sustainable. Mostly platforms. Been a developer for more than 15 years, and codes in Go and Kotlin. Mostly...

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Truls Jørgensen

Principal Engineer @NAV

Truls is a principal engineer in NAV, trying to split his time evenly on writing software and on building  an organization that creates sustainable services that are adaptable to change over time.  Been a developer for over 15 years. Co-creator of the technical direction for our...

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Wednesday May 11 / 12:30PM EDT (50 minutes)


Optimising for Speed & Flow


Team CollaborationCommunicationLeadershipAgile

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