4–7 Nov 2019
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Solving problems with principles

James Stewart (Jystewart.net), Dafydd Vaughan (Public Digital)
13:2514:05 Thursday, 7 November 2019
Location: Hall A1
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Technology leaders, architects, and organization designers




Leading organizations focus their efforts on meeting users’ needs and avoiding the trap of large-scale enterprise architecture plans. But where those organizations have competing technology demands—such as legacy systems that need to be managed differently from modern technology or substantial differences between regional systems—it can be hard to establish a common vision, let alone handle the dependencies between teams and systems.

A clear set of principles that all teams contribute to and work from is a powerful tool to break down some of the barriers in those large organizations. Done well, they can set a common direction without being overly prescriptive, giving teams space to experiment and clarifying where technology and nontechnology concerns fit together (e.g., around data ownership).

James Stewart and Dafydd Vaughan explore how a variety of organizations in different sectors have articulated their working principles, analyze what makes for a useful set, and detail their experiences running workshops to help teams develop and apply data and technology design principles. They’ve worked with large, complex public and private sector organizations around the world, as well as doing research with others. They walk you through how focusing on principles helps set the balance between technology direction and autonomous teams and how you can use them to have clearer, more focused, more productive conversations.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience working in a highly federated organization (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Gain a set of tools to help you identify and apply principles to solve problems across distributed and complicated organizations
Photo of James Stewart

James Stewart


James Stewart is an independent consultant helping senior leaders embed modern technology and security in their strategies and lead transformational change. Previously, James was a cofounder of the UK Government Digital Service and served as deputy CTO of the UK government, where he was instrumental in the UK government’s use the public cloud, embrace of open source, and changing approach to security, all with the goal of increasing government’s ability to focus on user needs. James speaks regularly around the world on organizational transformation, technology strategy, and cybersecurity.

Photo of Dafydd Vaughan

Dafydd Vaughan

Public Digital

Dafydd Vaughan (he/him) is an affiliate at Public Digital and a digital technology specialist with extensive experience in transforming complex legacy IT and coaching technology teams as they build new digital services. Previously, he was a senior technical architect at the Government Digital Service, where he led teams that transitioned Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA‘s) IT services back in-house, and delivered new digital services such as viewing your driving license, buying and selling vehicles, and taxing your vehicle; he spent two years leading the team that operated Gov.uk; and he set up a consultancy, Cedyrn, to advise large organizations on the replacement of legacy technology, adoption of public cloud services, and how to build strong digital teams.

  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Cloudflare
  • JFrog
  • Akamas
  • Aqua Security Software
  • Fastly
  • Google
  • Instana
  • JetBrains
  • LaunchDarkly
  • LightStep
  • OVHcloud
  • SignalFx
  • VictorOps
  • Wayfair
  • Blameless
  • Chronosphere
  • FusionReactor
  • humanitec
  • replex GmbH
  • StackState
  • Datadog
  • GitLab
  • Gremlin
  • StormForger
  • SysEleven GmgH
  • Vamp.io

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